When starting a new job, there’s this inevitable rollercoaster of emotions.
At first, you feel like you have zero idea what you’re doing. You’re lost trying to figure out how to work the company’s software, where to find the information you need, and what exactly the protocol is for the breakroom microwave.
But soon, you get your feet under you. You gain more confidence in your position—and, as a result, you’re on the receiving end of praise from your boss and colleagues about what a great job you’re doing.
From there, everything seems to be going fine—until you reflect on the past few weeks (or maybe even months). When’s the last time your boss commended you for a job well done? Or called you a lifesaver? He used to brag about you all the time, but now you can’t think of a single recent instance.
Cue the panic and the dip in that rollercoaster ride. We all experience something like this. Getting comfortable in your job usually results in fewer compliments from your superiors—which, unfortunately, can make you feel like you’re failing or stagnating.
But, rest assured, that’s likely not the case. Here are six key signs you’re still an awesome employee—even if your boss doesn’t say so as often.
1. You’re Receiving More Feedback
This first point seems counterintuitive. Shouldn’t you be receiving more praise and less feedback if you’re really doing well?
But, think about it this way: You’re performing so well that now your boss wants to give you the tools, resources, and constructive criticism you need to become even better. You’ve set the bar high for yourself, and now it’s your manager’s job to continue challenging you.
So, don’t automatically assume that increased feedback is a bad thing. It can actually be an indicator that you’re exceeding expectations.
2. You’re the Go-To Resource for Questions
When your colleagues have questions or run into problems, you’re typically the first person they turn to for help and guidance.
Why? Well, because people trust you. You’ve established yourself as an expert resource, and your co-workers are comfortable approaching you for assistance in sticky situations.
Would they do that if you weren’t a capable employee who seems to have a strong handle on all that your position entails? Probably not.
3. You’re Asked for Your Opinions
Similarly to establishing yourself as the go-to for questions, being asked to provide your input during discussions and meetings is another indicator that you’re making a positive impression.
If you’re given a seat at the table for big decisions and important conversations, that means that your colleagues and superiors see the value in your thoughts and ideas. And, remember, they wouldn’t feel that way if you were digressing in your position (like that voice of self-doubt in your head keeps telling you).
4. You’re the One Your Boss Depends on
“Can you handle this for me?” is a question you hear a few times each week. When your manager needs something taken care of, you’re the first one she turns to. And, let’s not forget to mention the fact that you’re always listed as her alternative contact in her out-of-office messages.
So, no, maybe your boss isn’t doling out the praise like she used to. But, the fact that she trusts you enough to rely on you without so much as a second thought is a good sign that your manager still views you as an awesome asset to the team.
5. You’re in Charge of Your Own Work
When you’re getting up to speed in a new role, there’s quite a bit of handholding that has to happen. Your superiors need to offer guidance to ensure you tackle things appropriately.
But, when’s the last time that happened? If your manager is now letting you take ownership of your projects—without an ounce of micromanagement—you can feel good about the fact that you’ve proven yourself enough to earn his unquestioning trust.
6. You’re Asked to Represent Your Company
You’re sent to a speaking engagement to talk on behalf of your employer. You’re asked to head to a meeting with external partners. When a press opportunity arises, you’re one of the employees that’s quoted.
Regardless of the specific situation, the message remains the same: You’re doing such an awesome job that your boss is comfortable having you act as an ambassador for your company. And, that means a lot—arguably even more than a compliment said in passing.
When you become more comfortable in your role, the praise tends to slow down. It’s natural, but it’s still enough to plant plenty of seeds of self-doubt in your mind.
Instead of obsessing over what your boss might be thinking, keep your eyes peeled for these six signs. Chances are, you’re still knocking things out of the park.
By Kat Boogaard | The Muse