Always seeking the wrong approval.

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    I am young, always want to do more and get a lot of praises often from my team members and my bosses. The problem is I have a very direct boss that is very nice and encouraging for everybody. He helped me a lot, and always been nice.

    I found out he is nice to everybody, encourage everyone to do more, and praise everyone. I also found out that he is super nice to me maybe because I am handling some important project for the company.

    I realized he never praised me in front of my colleagues, always secretly when we meet in corridor, then he will show some concern. My boss and my manager also passed me over promotion and promote someone that stays longer in the company, even thought I am working so hard for some big projects.

    The problem now, I feel down so many times, I told myself to not compare myself, read a lot of motivational books. I keep trying to show my boss how great I am and always looking for his approval and sometimes attention. (This is so wrong.) even though he maybe think I am the same with everybody else. What should I do???



    Hi doremi,

    Even as a kid, you would know the difference between a feel good rec center class, “That’s GREAT!!!” and a competitive travel team going to Nationals, “DO IT! FIX IT! FASTER!”

    Your boss’s praise might as well be no praise if he does it all the time. But it’s a nice problem to have, especially because you could have ended up with a boss out of The Devil Wears Prada. And seeking approval from your boss isn’t seeking the wrong approval at all. From who else would you seek approval? LOL. At least you’re not resting on your laurels.

    As for being passed over, you are still very young. If an age mate is being promoted, it probably has to do with a more worldly veneer or a glamour of competence.

    Keep up Excellence!



    Hi Doremi,

    It’s perfectly natural to feel disappointed about being passed over for a promotion, or not feeling like your work is being appreciated for whatever reason. When I was young, I used to think colleagues were like friends or parents–quick to validate my efforts, you know? But I’ve learned over the years that most people, if not all, aren’t thinking of you. Like, not at all. And if you want to feel appreciated for your work, you have to be the one to go and get it. You are your only advocate. That’s just how it is.

    For example, if you hear of a position in your company that would entail a promotion–you have to be proactive and go for it. And act like you DESERVE IT. And are WORTH it. If you don’t believe on your own that you are a successful, bright person with a lot to offer, no one else will.

    In the meantime, trust that your time to shine will come. Just hold your head up high, shoulders back, and tell yourself every morning how successful you are and how lucky your company is to have you. And ps, if you’re a woman, you must tell yourself that A LOT and NEVER allow anyone suggest otherwise (because they will) Not even for a second.

    Good luck 🙂


    Thank You So Much Inky and Pink24,

    Yes, I hope that one day I will get whatever I want. I am afraid that I am trying to seek his approval, it sounds like a child seeking attention, which can be bothersome to some. I prefer quietly work in the back stage but I also hope that I can be a better worker and rewarded well. Maybe I should not ask for reward..

    Thank You so much for a generous advice from both of you. I hope I can keep working without thinking too much 🙂

    Thank You,


    Oh Doremi, let me just say, as a former manager, I had greater respect for employees who came to me and asked for what they wanted. And they were usually men. So look, if there is a reward to be had, go out and get it! What’s the worst that could happen? No matter what, your boss will know that you value your work, and in turn, he will too. Like a former boss once told me, best advice I ever got, ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get”.

    Go for it!


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