The corporate world is a competitive place. To begin with, we compete with hundreds of aspirants to get a job. Once on board, we have to compete with our colleagues to get noticed and make our move towards a promotion or a desired profile. This requires proving our capabilities to the decision making management team. While there are many ways of achieving this, many employees end up working longer hours and never saying no to any assignment/project tossed their way. This is an unhealthy place to be in and usually, by the time such employees realize that they have become a doormat for their boss or colleagues, it is too late to undo the damage. Hence, I have listed down 3 tell-tale signs that can help you understand if your co-workers are taking advantage of you at work.
# 1 – Projects/assignments are handed over to you without your consent
This gets tricky because many employees feel that their boss hands over additional responsibilities to them because they are good at their jobs. While this can be true in certain scenarios, if you find extra assignments being handed down you which expect you to work beyond your working hours every day and are way outside your job description, then you might want to get into a dialogue with your boss to express your concern about significant increase in your workload and find a solution.
If your co-workers are loading you with assignments, then it is probably time to take stock of the situation and learn the art of saying NO.
# 2 – No acknowledgment of your efforts
You are hired to do your job and should not expect to be acknowledged for every little task done by you. However, it is also important that your boss gives you a pat on the back every once in a while for a job well done. This means that your efforts and output are being noticed. However, if you find no recognition of your work, then maybe you would want to try setting up a meeting with your boss and offer him a review of everything that you have completed.
# 3 – You taking short breaks or vacations is considered unprofessional
All of us need that little coffee/tea break or a post-lunch 5-minute stroll to recharge our batteries. However, if your boss does not like you taking that little time off during the day or constantly denies your vacation leave request citing work pressure, then maybe he is taking advantage of you.
Does this sound like you?
As I said at the start of the article, many of us are guilty of assuming hard work to be the only ladder to success. We keep working way beyond the office hours and saying yes to all assignments handed over to us. Eventually, if we don’t get that coveted promotion or role change that we desired, it breaks us and we end up taking unplanned decisions of quitting the job or worse still, we get under-confident about our abilities.
What should you do?
- First things first, get a grip over your job.
- What are your KRAs?
- Are you fulfilling them?
This is the most important aspect of any job. While taking additional responsibilities is good, it should not be done at the cost of your core responsibilities.
- If you have time to take on additional projects/assignments, be clear about what you would like to do. At times, you might have to chip in if some employee is absent or if the organization needs you to help manage some workload (outside of your job description), ensure that this is not a regular affair.
- Take initiatives which help you reach your desired career goals
- Learn to say NO
At Change Ur Story, we have heard many stories where people allowed themselves to be treated as doormats without realizing it. We helped them see the bigger picture and understand their own strengths and weaknesses to approach their careers in a much more disciplined manner. Few of them also realized that they needed to upgrade their skills to ensure that they project themselves as worthy candidates for the next promotion rather than slog endlessly to prove their worth.
Remember, people cannot take advantage of you if you don’t allow them to. If you found yourself relating to the three signs mentioned above, then its time you do something about it. Drop us a line and we will be glad to assist you along the journey.
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