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Boss not recognizing efforts to make "real contributions"

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in Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

Q. For seven years, I’ve worked for a small construction company. To ensure advancement, I attended college at night to get an accounting degree. My boss recently told me that I have not stepped up to the plate to make any real contributions. I explained that my time is spread thin. He does not agree and will not hire me an assistant. We had a good year, but my bonus was cut 80 percent. I’m ready to give up. My boss treats me like an entry-level employee. My performance evaluation is due soon, and it won’t go well. What should I do?

A. Trying to convince a boss that you need an assistant is not the battle you want to fight right now. Your top priority should be to make what your boss defines as “real contributions.” Ask him point-blank, “Can you give me three examples of real contributions you’d like from me?” Explain that you’d like to prove yourself and get ahead. If he says he’s already given up on you—and there’s nothing you can do to change his mind—then you may want to find another job.

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