5 signs you are being taken advantage of at work

How to counter this and stay a winner at the workplace.

Sankar Pillai
August 13, 2020

It’s a good feeling when you find yourselves inadvertently becoming the go to person when critical work issues crop up at the workplace. From your manager to your co-workers, everyone lines up at your cubicle when the alarm bells ring and it’s time to scramble.

But has it ever been that these instances have started recurring consistently in a manner that is unnerving to say the least? To the extent you are slowly beginning to believe you are not just the top worker when it comes to handling emergencies, but possibly the only worker to do so, in a fairly well-staffed office space, with colleagues in attendance who share your job profile.

Just sit up and think then, if you are being taken advantage of at the workplace. And if you feel you are, it’s time to take action, and quickly.

These 5 steps will tell you how.

  1. Get them to thank you

It’s one thing to be saddled with the work chores of other colleagues, it’s another thing when these tasks are executed flawlessly and delivered on time by you without as much as a thank you for your efforts. Make it a point therefore to trumpet and call out the work you completed over the course of the week during your weekly meetings. Make a list of everything you’ve accomplished over the course of the week and put it out there so your manager is coerced into recognizing you for your efforts, as are your deviant colleagues.

  1. Overtime? Sometimes

Let’s be frank, there’s no joy in staying back late and working into the wee hours to finish a task, unless you happen to be a workaholic. Be that as it may, as a team player you will be asked to do so every now and then, as the turnkey projects come through and your manager turns to his go to guy.

However, if this is a common occurrence you will have to evaluate if the workload is being compensated. If it’s not raise the red flag by letting your manager know so in a closed door meeting. Tell him you may not be able to deliver your peak performance if you are constantly being overworked and make him aware that the dangers of a workplace burnout are very, very real. Ensure he sees the light and backs off from putting you in chains each time a task requires overtime, or at the least that he compensates you for your efforts.

  1. Job profile? What’s that?

Workers who put their heads down and generally accept all tasks from the management regardless of whether these chores fit their job profiles or not are more often not considered the go to guy, but a doormat, in a competitive dog eat dog work environment. If you fall into this category, sit up and learn when to say no.

Be very aware of what your job profile entails, take on tasks that are outside of this every once in a while, especially if it’s a request that comes from your boss and is for the common good of the team and the organization. However this needs to be the exception rather than the rule. Be sure of how much you step out of your way to help others along, and if your manager is constantly needling you with menial chores, it’s probably time for that closed door meeting once again.

  1. Raise your voice for that raise

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since your job interview and your first, second and umpteen successful assignments later were all acknowledged by the team, but there’s still no sign of that elusive raise or the new job title you were promised by the boss. If either of these are not forthcoming, it’s time to play tough and get your boss to put a date to when either the raise or the promotion are expected, or both. If your boss is forced to say that it will be difficult to action either, it’s time you took your skillsets elsewhere.

  1. Your achievements are yours alone

You are expected to be a team player and what you achieve on the job reflects well on the bottom line for your department and the organisation. This does not mean that your achievements are there for others to take ownership of. And this can be an especially dangerous trait if your boss steals the limelight each time you endeavour to complete a task successfully. Take ownership of your achievements and let your manager know however subtly that a task completed successfully or an idea pitched on point was yours. It’s possible your manager forgot, but then again it’s equally possible that he did not.

There are ample opportunities for you to not be recognised for your accomplishments on the job. In these instances, it’s okay to forgive once or twice. Anymore and you are just wasting your time. Gather yourselves and start looking at pastures anew.

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