Invisible In the Workplace

Remember the day you landed the dream job you had been praying about for months?

On your first day of work, you arrived early because you were a little anxious—but excited! You were thrilled because your new role would afford you the opportunity to utilize your God-given gifts and talents. You were greeted at the front desk, then your manager escorted you around the office to introduce you to the entire staff. Everyone shook your hand with a bright smile and greeted you with, “Welcome to the team—we’re so glad you’re here!"

At first, just like in a marriage, you enter the honeymoon stage and everything is wonderful. You tell your friends and family how much you love your new job. You arrive early and stay late, not minding the extra hours because after all, this is your dream job!

During the next couple of months however, you begin noticing a slight change in your manager’s behavior and tone as you discuss team projects. In staff meetings, you become aware of how your team members’ facial expressions change when you share your ideas. The audible discussions turn into whispers when you enter the room, and there are side conversations into which you are not invited. Your co-workers used to value your opinion and feedback, but now it’s like you’re invisible, unseen, and unheard.

You start to wonder, “Is it something I’ve said or done to cause the change? Did I forget to do an assignment or forget to follow up with a customer?  What happened to the warm welcome and smiling faces that greeted me once before?”

Does this sound familiar to any of you? What do you do when your dream job turns into a train wreck?

Could you have ever imagined you would be silenced, overlooked, or denied opportunities for growth at your new workplace? Your confidence is now disappearing, you are starting to second guess yourself, and your self-esteem is as low as it’s ever been.

So how do you cope with hearing no, being ignored or told your ideas are not sustainable—over and over again? The ray of light that was beaming in you at the beginning has now dimmed to a tiny flicker. Slowly, your creativity and experience no longer seem to be a value add to the team.

Instead of your work environment being a place of development and growth, it has become a place of brokenness. Your allies are now “frenemies” who belittle you behind closed doors.  

So now what? Do you remain at your job, or do you leave? If you decide to stay, how do you move forward from here?

Let's continue the conversation!  What exactly would you do to handle this situation?

About The Author

Shay Bethea

Shay Bethea, Director of Training and Leadership Development

Proud mother of two beautiful children, adores her precious grand daughter, catalyst for change, and lover of God!