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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.