I work for a nonprofit agency and often take on ambitious projects. I get excited about projects that have the potential to make a difference in our world, and I enjoy creativity.
We are expected to work as a team and involve people outside our agency on collaborative efforts. Over and over, I work very hard and am very kind to everyone on my team. I am responsible, ethical and think I provide quality work.
On several occasions, I have led a major project almost to fruition -- only to have a team member take everything over at the very end and shut me out. I used to think that people just didn't think I was doing a good job or that they just didn't like me. I'd futilely try to figure out what I'd done wrong for about a month, and eventually feel ostracized and resign the project to let the group continue without me.
In my current situation, I wrote a successful $40,000 grant and was working toward a larger grant, when a team member changed something significant about the grant without my knowledge, shut me out and has gone on to work with part of the former team without me. The changes to the grant which I've been privy to are worrisome, and I fear the whole thing may be in jeopardy... along with my reputation as a grant writer and team worker.
In each case, my supervisors (different ones) have told me to just 'let it go'. (The supervisors never have control over the rogue person in each case because the person was a team member outside the agency or outside our work area). Additionally, in several of the cases, the project was discontinued within a month of me resigning as leader.
So here I am again, confused and unsure who likes me and who doesn't like me... doubting my abilities. I know a good team leader doesn't seek recognition and should just get personal satisfaction by what is achieved. But this just doesn't feel right. I frankly worry about putting all my accomplishments on my resume when there's no proof anywhere that I actually led the effort, wrote the grant, designed the project... you get the picture.
Each time this happens, I've had at least one co-worker (different ones each time) watch the whole thing in amazement, assuring me they could not understand why this was happening.
I'm feeling demoralised. But my confidence has swooped so low that I don't feel I can do any job well. The common denominator is me, so I must be doing something wrong. I suspicious are either:
- I'm not assertive enough
- People truly don't like me
- My perceptions about what people think of me are incorrect because I am too sensitive
- I'm simply being taken advantage of
- People are jealous of my accomplishments
- People think I am taking on these projects purely for recognition
- I am not doing a good job, so people take over and are afraid to tell me why.
Any input would be appreciated.