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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

Hard Worker Gets No Respect

Dear Sue: I am an architect for a company I started working for eight years ago. In addition to the many projects I work on I have been responsible for setting up all of the computers and networking them back to our main office (over 400 miles away) and then teaching the other employees how to draw on a computer.

I produce the most work, because I work lots of nights and weekends and I rarely take a lunch or other break. I love my job but I know I am underpaid and I do not feel I get the respect I deserve.

Other people are getting credit for the things I do and I am afraid if I don't do something fast that things will get worse and we are struggling to make ends meet at home.

Iím not good at brownnosing with the boss and often miss out on volunteer and other relationship-building opportunities because I have so much work to do. Do you have any suggestions?

- Getting no respect

Sue Says: I understand why you are writing to me and why you are upset. What I canít see is why for eight years youíve continued to do what you do.

Youíre not getting ahead because you said you are struggling financially; youíre not getting recognition because you said you donít get the respect or credit you deserve. Youíre not growing personally or in your relationships because you said you miss out on many opportunities. What are getting for your efforts?

You got yourself into this situation and only you can get yourself out. There is some reason you have been willing to sacrifice everything that is in your best interest to benefit others, but Iím not sure I know what it is.

When you change your circumstances will. Stop working without breaks and start caring for yourself as much as you care about work. Stop working for less than you are worth and start asking for a raise. Stop neglecting your relationships and start taking time to build them and doing other things that are important to you.

If you are serious about getting what you want then stop doing what you are doing. Speak up and stand up for yourself. When you start showing more respect for yourself youíll see more respect from others.

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

Send Sue your questions by clicking here: Ask Sue
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