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7/12/2016 3:40:07 PM

Are your skills being underutilised at work?

Whichever way you look at it, no one likes to feel unappreciated but we suspect if you’ve arrived at this blog that’s exactly how you’re feeling right now. In our personal lives, feeling like this often leads to big decisions, discussions, even confrontations, to try and sort out the situation - but it’s not so easy at work.

You know the old saying ‘it’s not you, it’s me’? Well, being underutilised at work can feel a bit like that. We’ve selected some of the most common warning signs associated with being underutilised at work. Take a look at the flags and then ask yourself if it’s time for some big decisions or whether it’s actually you who needs to make some changes.  

You may be being underutilised at work if:

You haven’t progressed in some time

If you’ve been in post for a long time and your role hasn’t evolved in line with your abilities then you may not be using, or being used to, your full potential. The time served you have in this role will have developed you both professionally and personally but if your responsibilities haven’t kept pace you may feel you are being held back. It’s a sad fact but many employers are hesitant to promote a time-served employee who knows their job inside out when faced with the upheaval and uncertainty of bringing someone untried into the role.  

You don’t feel stimulated

When work feels like a monotonous, never-ending treadmill of repetition you should be very wary of your position in the workplace. If you can’t remember the last time you felt fired up about your job or enthused about a new challenge or project, it’s likely been some time since you last deployed your zeal or creativity. This is one of the single strongest indicators that you are not being utilised to your full potential.

Performance reviews are not big news

During performance reviews, if there isn’t much to discuss or you’ve had the same conversation five times before, this is a sure sign your role isn’t evolving adequately to allow you to develop professionally. Knowing you are good at what you do is a great feeling, but coasting through your work isn’t sufficient to keep you stimulated on its own - your line manager should recognise this and make changes to help you grow.

How to make the change

Feeling under-appreciated or invisible in the workplace can be really upsetting but before you do anything drastic it’s advisable to sit down and take a long, hard look at your situation. So, before barrelling into the boss’s office, what questions should you ask yourself?

“What do I want?”

Okay, so you know you’re not happy but do you actually know what will make you happy? If you don’t know the skills you want to develop or the career path you want to follow, then you’re less likely to get out of this rut.

“How can I evaluate my performance?"

Before asking for more/different responsibilities, make sure you can do your current job with your eyes closed - put yourself at the top of your game so it’s harder for your line manager to say ‘no’ when you request a new challenge.

“How can my line manager support me?”

Be honest with your line manager about your feelings but avoid sounding whiny! Most will want to help valued employees, rather than lose them, so be as specific as possible about what you want and make suggestions about how you can get there, not forgetting to cite how it will have a positive effect on the business.

If, after reading this, you still think you and your skills set are being underutilised by your current employer then it might be time for a career change. Talk to Supertemps and let us help you discover your next exciting challenge. 

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