Dear co-listeners,

I work for a big American company in Europe. I am on the only person in my team that is based in Europe. The company is reputable and provides interesting work and compensation. I feel however on a dead end in my career as it does not really seem to matter what I do.

I am aware of the set of casts on distant managers and have tried to implement what I could. However, it is really hard given the time difference and ignorance. Is there any advice from you how I could get more recognition from my manager and peers, leading to better influence in the company? So far, I have adressed the topic very carefully, as I did not want to appear unthankful (given the compensation, I have a lot of freedom, just no perspective).

Any guidance? Has anyone been in a similar situation?



NLewis's picture

Hi Jochen -


Yes I was in a similar situation in the past.  Here's what I did that eventually got me recognized on a regional level:


1) Perform your duties to the very best level you can.  I took a certain pride in being professional even when it wasn't recognized.  In fact you could argue there's a certain nobility in doing your best in spite of negative circumstances.  The worse the circumstances the more you'll be able to look back with pride in the fact you didn't waiver.

2) Look for things that need doing but aren't being done.  Step in and do them.  I was once put in an empty office with literally nothing to do and used the time to audit our materials reporting system.  I found the error rate was nearly 50%.  I reported this and in addition put together a proposed revision to the system that was eventually adopted.

3) Report, report, report!  Share your progress and accomplishments even if there's no response.

4) Relax.  Remember why you're doing what you do.  For me it was my family.  At the end of the day the ultimate goal was to provide the best life I could.  Yes there wasn't much recognition (at first) and in some cases I felt blatantly taken for granted.  But at the end of the day - so what?  I didn't have recognition but I had a good paycheck and I knew I was doing the best job I could.  I was helping to provide not just for my family, but for the families of my coworkers who depended on me to do my job.  


Good luck out there!


NLewis's picture

On more thing -


I once completely blew a relationship with a regional manager by joking about the lack of recognition.  I was kidding (sort of) but remember if you don't have recognition, you probably don't have a strong relationship.  Be very careful not to appear ungrateful by calling attention to the lack of recognition directly.  Even if you're kidding.  Odds are in their minds everything is fine.



Sulmi's picture

Thank you, NLewis, ths s a great answer!