This is an excellent post, Random. Thanks for sharing! I particularly enjoyed Remit's and Sebastian's articles. This advice should make a huge difference to anyone who actually follows them.
Here is another related game-changing article by Tynan. Before reading it I was always looking for shortcuts, always avoiding hard work, and only working so that I could do nothing afterwards. This post made me realize how wrong I was about work.
Not getting recognition at work? That's tough. Whether you're an employee, freelancer, contractor, or even a partner in a company, it can be demoralizing. It also gets in the way of advancing your career and earning more.
Is self-promotion the answer?
Yes. Sort of. But there are a few prerequisites.
1. You must have the work you're performed tied to value you're delivering to the organization and individual evaluating you. Don't be a commodity.
2. The person evaluating you must like and trust you. Or at least, respect you.
I used to dislike to work. I saw how most people lived their lives, slogging through work that they hated, and I was determined not to fall into that trap. I made the mistake of generalizing, lumping all work together in the same bucket.
Since then, things have changed. In terms of monumental personal life changes, becoming a hard worker is the most recent one I've undergone. About a year ago, for reasons I touched on in this post, I decided that it was imperative for me to become a hard worker. I didn't do it because I had suddenly fallen in love with work, but rather because I had began to feel as though I was behind. And believe me, it wasn't love at first sight.
To fall in love with hard work, you must understand why it's necessary. When I was young I was told that sugar was bad, but I never understood exactly why it was bad, so I kept eating it. Only when I learned how it chemically affected my body did I finally give it up. The same is true of work-- if you don't know why you have to work hard and love it, you'll probably never actually do it.
Work is your gift to the world. That sounds corny, but it's true. And believe me, you owe the world a gift or two. Think of all of the various things that millions of people around the world have done for you to enjoy the life you have. They made up languages, invented stuff, procreated at the exact right times to create your ancestry, and managed to not kill each other in the process. We're lucky to be here, and the high standard of living we all enjoy now is only because of those who came before us. Some, like Einstein, had huge impact, but even people you don't notice, like the janitors, are making your life better.