Help! My work goes unnoticed at the office

(MoneyWatch) Do you feel invisible at work -- that your boss has no idea what you do, or how well you do it? It's a common employee complaint. Workers go above and beyond, but never get acknowledged for it. Then, people who aren't putting out half as much effort get praised -- and rewarded -- from the top.

Here's what career advisors had to say about how employees can raise their visibility at work.

Louise Kusmark, founder of Best Impressions Careers Services

Generally, "more women than men experience this situation, because women typically are less comfortable blowing their own horn. To some degree, how [to self-promote] depends on your boss. Ask when you take the job 'How would you like me to keep you informed?' It might be that you could set up a shortly weekly update meeting or regular email exchange around this very topic: 'These were my goals for the week; this is what I accomplished; these are my goals for next week.' This makes sure that you are doing the right things -- things that are important to your boss -- while also reporting on your accomplishments."

Susan Whitcomb, founder of consulting firm Leadership Coach Academy

"Working late at night when no one is there? Copy your boss or other teammates, as appropriate, on emails. Others getting credit for your work? Ask your boss about sitting in on meetings with the higher-ups and/or having the opportunity to share a report on your portion of the work. Include your name on proposals or other works. If sharing an innovative idea, consider doing so via email and cc'ing others who can then know the origination of the idea.Teammates ignoring you? Perhaps you are coming across as being overly sensitive, insecure or second-guessing. Bump up your confidence with goals and task completion.

"Think more about your boss's needs than what people are thinking about you. Find a mentor who has no ulterior motives for mentoring you. Boss not appreciating you? First, check to see that you are reciprocating with appreciation for her! Next, find out what she needs from you for her to be successful in the eyes of her boss. Once those items are met, engage in conversation about how you'd like to contribute to the team, what additional experiences you'd like to have (or the boss thinks would be valuable for you to have) and where you'd like to be in the next 12-18 months provided the boss' expectations are met."

Caroline Ceniza-Levine, partner with the career consulting firm SixFigureStart

"If you are doing a good job but still getting overlooked, then your good works are not getting back to your boss. This is when you'll also need to ask for a meeting and share the commendation emails or specific achievements you've [collected]. Don't resent your boss for overlooking you -- tell him or her exactly what you have accomplished and what you'd like (a raise, a promotion, a stretch assignment). To ensure this doesn't happen in the future, confirm with your boss how often you can expect feedback and how she or he likes to be updated."

Tracy Brisson founder of The Opportunities Project, a Generation Y-focused consulting group

"Rather than solely focus on getting your boss's attention, also make sure other people, including peers and members of other teams you work with, know when you hit milestones and are achieving recognizable results. People often forget what great allies your peers can be for telling your story within the company. Be accountable for your PR and find ways to give updates with positive metrics in emails and informal communications. If you are being overlooked, it may be because you've focused too much on trying to please other people and forgetting your own work mission.

"Focusing on other people results in not taking the risks you need to move ahead. Relationships are certainly important in business, but in context, and not more than reaching a collective outcome that benefits everyone. Everyone, whether they are just starting out or are in management, should have a personal mission and vision for their work legacy and be able to bounce decisions they face in their career against that mission, not only how it will impact the people around them in the present."

  • Amy Levin-Epstein On Twitter»

    Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including AOLHealth.com, Babble.com and Details.com) and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit AmyLevinEpstein.com.

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