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Are you being taken advantage of at work?

Are you being taken advantage of at work?

Nothing makes a job miserable faster than a toxic manager or supervisor, especially the kind who has no problem with asking you to take on additional projects that lead to your department working overtime, even on the weekends. Sometimes you’re going to be asked to go above and beyond your day to day responsibilities and you’ll have to comply because that’s just part of being a team player. But feeling unappreciated or like you’re constantly being taken advantage of is not in anyone’s job description. 

What does it mean when someone is being taken for granted?

As an employee, you’re expected to perform a certain set of tasks that fall within your job description. When your value is overlooked or your boss seems indifferent to your contributions, that’s when a red flag should go up. An excellent boss knows the redeeming power of recognition and should be acknowledging you in both one-on-one and group settings.

Is your employer taking advantage of you?

Here are five indications that you might be taken advantage of in the workplace. 

  1. You’re Consistently Working Overtime

If work is regularly taking over your nights and weekends, it’s up to you to reclaim those hours.

There are a couple exceptions. If you’re in an industry where people tend to work long days, like finance or construction, you’ll need to adjust your expectations accordingly. If you’re being paid for the overtime, you’re getting a fair shake. But if neither of those apply, you’ll need to address the issue head on.

You need to have an honest conversation with your boss. Set up a meeting and let them know that the extra hours and lack of compensation is wearing on you personally and you fear that you’re nearing the point of burnout. Go into detail further by explaining that you want to be a team player and care about your job, but that you’re feeling overwhelmed and worried that you’re not able to deliver at the peak of your abilities. 

  1. You’re Playing Personal Assistant

Unless you were hired for an administrative role, the majority of your time shouldn’t be spent getting coffee for your boss or picking up dry cleaning. What you should be focused on is building your skill set and doing the job that you were hired for.

Make an effort to point out that your responsibilities have changed and ask whether these changes are permanent. 

If your manager wants you to continue to serve as a personal assistant, offer an alternative solution.

  1. You’re Juggling More Than One Job

A co-worker leaves the company and now you obviously step in to take over the person’s role, all while continuing to do your own job. Before speaking up, consider how long you’re going to be doing the extra work. If it’s going to be ongoing long term or your boss doesn’t plan to hire a replacement, you’ll need to speak up.

If your boss says no raise is on the horizon, first ask for help prioritizing your time so that you don’t burn out. Then ask how you can be compensated for your extra contributions. If your boss doesn’t take what you’re sharing at face value, then you're being taken advantage of and need to act accordingly. 

  1. You’re Still Waiting On That Raise Or Promotion

If your manager promises that a promotion is coming but doesn’t deliver and you wait to address the issue, you could be hurting your long-term earning potential since your next job offer will probably be based on the salary at your current job.

Set parameters with your boss. If you get a vague response, you might need to put on a little more pressure by setting boundaries and deadlines. The exception is if there is a company-wide freeze on raises and of course this past year with COVID.

  1. Your Boss Steals Recognition For Your Work

Some employees might already know that they are working for a praise thief. This is a manager who steals credit for your work or ideas. If you reclaim ownership of your contributions, this will enable you to gain visibility within the company and make a good impression on executive management which can potentially lead to a job opportunity in another department.

Are Layoffs Coming To A Company Near You?

Are Layoffs Coming To A Company Near You?

Companies have job cuts for a number of reasons, and oftentimes these layoffs aren’t a reflection of a specific worker’s performance, which means there’s little you can do to prevent the inevitable. The people who land on their feet are the ones who can spot the signs that layoffs are coming.

How can you tell if your job might be on the chopping block? Check out these potential hints that a pink slip may have your name on it in the near future—and what you can do to keep your career moving forward.

Subtle signs that layoffs are coming:

  1. Exciting projects are going to the “other person.” 

If you raise your hand to take on upcoming projects and they get handed to someone else, that's a red flag, especially if it happens more than once. Ask your manager what future projects you can look forward to taking on. If the answer is vague, that’s a tip right there.

  1. Nonessential budgets are being reduced.

Be wary when perks start disappearing. When the fun things are no longer being sponsored, that means the money is tight and that’s a red flag.

  1. New products or expansions are being postponed.

In prosperous times, businesses are pursuing initiatives for growth. In leaner times, they hunker down and return to basics by focusing on what is guaranteed to bring in revenue rather than looking to the future.

Serious signs that layoffs are coming:

  1. There’s a heightened sense of belt-tightening.

It’s never a good sign when the company starts putting all financial exchanges under a microscope and requiring approvals from senior management. For example, expense accounts are scrutinized and new procedures are being implemented.

  1. There’s a merger or acquisition.

This event might be a smart move for a company as a whole, but it’s not always a great sign for its employees. Duplicate positions are superfluous and that means layoffs could be in the future.

  1. You’re being kept out of the loop.

Beginning to feel ostracized? Not invited to team meetings or being removed from email distribution lists? Speak up, ask why you’re not getting invited and express your interest in participating.

  1. Executives appear more stressed than normal.

If executives are being evasive or less than forthcoming with answers about future projects, that's suspicious. Now is not the time for leaders to be silent in the face of so much uncertainty. For example, senior leaders are having more private calls than normal.

Alarm bells:

  1. Your company is bleeding money.

Don’t get spooked by a short-term dip in revenue, as it happens even to thriving businesses. However, if your company is not making its profitability targets for several quarters in a row, dust off your resume.

  1. Essential budgets are being cut to the bone.

The marketing budget has been slashed, physical offices have been downsized and moved to smaller, less-expensive locations. Drastic budget cuts are valid reasons to watch your back.

  1. There’s a hiring freeze.

When job postings have disappeared, that means the growth of the company is being put on hold. If a company isn’t growing, it’s struggling.

  1. Executives are leaving in droves.

Senior managers are often privy to information that lower employees aren’t entitled to. When a significant number of top brass are jumping ship, company-wide layoffs could very well be around the corner.

  1. There’s talk of restructuring.

Put simply, this is another way of saying get ready for job cuts.

  1. There’s already been a round of layoffs.

One round of job cuts isn’t the end of the world. More than one round indicates there will be even more. Just because you survived one wave of layoffs doesn’t mean you’re safe. Keep your eyes and ears open.

  1. Your boss or HR is asking you a ton of questions about what you do.

You might be asked to write a job description for your position and that could be a sign that you’re about to be replaced.

  1. You’re getting locked out of files or emails.

If you haven’t heard from HR or IT about why this happened, make sure to watch out. 

If layoffs are coming, do what you an to get a head start right away.

Ten Things To Focus On During the Salary Negotiations Process

Ten Things To Focus On During the Salary Negotiations Process

Negotiating a more suitable salary has put pressure on potential candidates over the years. Remember, we all go through the process of salary negotiation sooner or later. Keep these ten tips in mind when it's your turn to ask for a sweeter deal. 

1. Be Persuasive

It's hard to encourage your boss to increase your compensation package and trying to do so can potentially damage your working relationship. Think about the process as trying to convince him/her that it might benefit the organization to pay you more.

2. Aim High & Be Realistic

Many researchers have found a strong relationship between people's aspirations and the results they achieve in the negotiation process. At the same time, you may want to suggest ideas that your boss can realistically agree with based on your working relationship. 

3. Start Off With The Right Tone

You want to start off and let your boss know that you will listen and try to understand his/her views. At the same time, you expect your boss to do the same for you so you can work together to address this issue. Avoid ultimatums, threats and other coercive behaviors.

4. Clarify Your Interests

Your compensation should satisfy a range of needs, not just the salary itself. Make sure you have thought about other points of value to you as well like profit sharing, stock options, bonuses, additional work responsibilities, a promotion schedule, increased vacation or flexible working hours.

5. Anticipate Your Boss's Interests

Just like you, your boss has needs and concerns. To persuade him/her to say yes, your ideas will have to address those key things that are important.

6. Create Several Avenues

A collaborative brainstorming session is the most effective way to find ideas that satisfy everyone's interests. It works best when you separate it from commitment, so first off you should create possible solutions and then decide which ones are ideal.

7. Focus On Objective Criteria

It is easier to persuade someone to agree with your proposal if they see how that proposal is firmly grounded on objective criteria, such as what similar companies pay people for experience or what others within your own company make.

8. Think Through Your Alternatives

In case you cannot persuade your boss to say yes on the first go around, you will then need to have a backup plan. Part of preparing is creating a specific action plan so you know what you'll do if you have to walk away from the table.

9. Prepare Thoughtfully In Order To Achieve Your Goals

This is the only aspect of your negotiations that you can completely control. To take advantage of this advice, you have to invest a significant amount of your time and energy.

10. Reviewing To Learn

The only way you can improve your ability to negotiate is to explicitly learn from your experiences. After you finish negotiations, reflect on what worked well and what you might want to do differently in the future.