《软技能的硬道理》（The Hard Truth About Soft Skills）一书作者兼高管教练佩吉•克劳斯说：“这种事让老板非常劳神，他们没时间......不断地来安慰你。”
千禧员工是在表扬声中长大的，这些80后和90后的年轻人每个人都会得奖，每个孩子都与众不同。事实上，心理学教授简•M•特温格和约书亚•D•福斯特在2010年进行的一项研究发现，当今30%的大学生在自恋人格表（Narcissistic Personality Inventory）中被归为自恋者，远高于上世纪80年代中期的比例。
22岁的凯西•考登讲述她向查尔斯顿公园与休闲委员会（Parks and Recreation Commission）的部门副经理汇报工作成就的情形时，她觉得自己就像一条小狗，渴望主人来轻轻拍她的头。“我真的很喜欢听别人说，我做得很棒，”考登说，她并不认为，学校教授了她在工作场合应该怎么做。“这些表扬证明我是一个很不错的人，工作也合格。“
私下表扬自己。不要等其他人拍着你的后背鼓励你，硅谷猎头、《职场登顶》（Getting to the Top）作者凯瑟琳•乌尔里克桌，自己可以记录好个人成就和出色表现。 这些记录可以是来自一名满意顾客的邮件，或是同事在商务社交网站LinkedIn上的推荐，但达到自己设定目标的记录更好。你可以保存一个时间文件、日历或项目清单来记录自己取得的成就。当你需要振作一下的时候，看看自己记录的这个文件，重温一遍成功的记忆。
用定期联系代替表扬。或许，你和老板没有安排定期的会面。现在是提出要求的好时机。如果你定期有机会汇报项目进展，或许就不会那么渴望获得表扬，康涅狄格州纽海文咨询师《不是人人都能夺冠》（Not Everyone Gets a Trophy）的作者布鲁斯•塔尔干表示。
How do you know if you're doing a good job at work? Do you rely on praise and constant feedback from your manager as a barometer of your performance?
If so, you might be one of your boss' pet peeves. Supervisors are already stretched thin, often working two or three people's jobs when a few years ago they were just doing one.
"It's exhausting for your boss," says Peggy Klaus, an executive coach and author of The Hard Truth About Soft Skills. "They don't have the time ... to have to constantly reassure you."
Millennial generation workers, those born in the last two decades of the last millennium, are notorious for having been raised in a praise-heavy environment where every soccer player gets a medal and every child is special. Indeed, a 2010 research paper by psychology professors Jean M. Twenge and Joshua D. Foster found that 30% of today's college students scored as narcissistic on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory vs. just 19% in the early 1980s.
But young workers are hardly the only guilty parties when it comes to craving kind words. "Everyone likes to get praised," Klaus says. "Eventually, you need to feel good from the inside. You have to build up your own reserves of self-esteem."
Casey Cowden, 22, describes herself as a puppy asking to have her head rubbed when she brings her latest accomplishment to the assistant manager in her department at the Charleston County (S.C.) Parks and Recreation Commission. "I really love hearing when I'm doing a good job," says Cowden, who doesn't feel that school prepared her for how to behave in the workplace. "It's affirmation that I'm actually a decent person and I'm doing okay."
For praise junkies like Cowden, career experts suggest a few steps to break the habit.
Praise yourself, privately. Instead of waiting for another person to pat you on the back, keep your own file of accomplishments and kudos, says Kathryn Ullrich, a Silicon Valley-based recruiter and author of Getting to the Top. That may be an email from a satisfied customer or a colleague's recommendation on LinkedIn, but even better is your own record of meeting specific goals you set for yourself. You may want to set up a time log, calendar, or checklist to keep track of your accomplishments. When you need a boost, look over your file to refresh your memory.
"Like an infant learning how to pacify himself, you should learn to give yourself credit instead of looking to others to give you the confidence, the self-esteem, the self-respect," Klaus says.
Learn to bite your tongue. The first step is admitting you have a problem. The second is setting up behavioral cues and reminders to stop you from seeking praise. Maybe that's a post-it note on your desk or a stop sign drawn on the margin of your notebook before you go into your weekly one-on-one with your boss. Do whatever it takes to make you think twice.
Replace praise with regular contact. Perhaps you don't have a regular meeting with your supervisor. Now is a good time to request one. If you have a consistent opportunity to report your progress on projects, you may have less of a hankering for praise, says Bruce Tulgan, a New Haven, Conn.-based consultant and author of Not Everyone Gets a Trophy.
"We call it self-reporting rather than bragging," says Tulgan, who tested a number of solutions to the praise problem and found that regular meetings -- along with clear goals and benchmarks -- can work wonders. "You'd be amazed at how self-sufficient the young praise junkies become."