Are You Being Used in the Workplace? ▼
“Telling my story of what I experienced in the workplace.”
Feeling underappreciated is never fun. The social undermining is the expression of negative emotions directed towards a particular person or negative evaluations of the person as a way to prevent the person from achieving his or her goals. This behavior is only considered social undermining if the person's perceived action is intended to hinder their target.
You know the feeling. It seems the more work you do, the more work that is given to you, and sometimes it’s obvious that your colleagues are not making the same contribution. We all can recognize when bosses have a favorite, or your colleagues are receiving better treatment than you and this can be extremely frustrating. This happens all the time in the workplace, but still, you must ensure you are receiving the correct entitlements and depending on how serious the situation, you may consider taking it further.
Sometimes for no fault of your own, the boss will dislike you. If you know you are doing a good job, there could be a million reasons for this, all of them THEIR problem. When this turns into unfair actions by your boss, then it will cause you problems. Depending on how this is playing out (such as unfair performance reviews and unfair treatment), you may need to take this further with the Human Resources Department.
Nothing makes a job miserable faster than a bad boss—particularly the kind which has no qualms taking advantage of someone. Sometimes you’re going to be asked to go above and beyond your duties and you’ll have to comply because that’s just part of being a team player. As an employee, you’re expected to perform a certain set of duties that fall within your job description. But when your value is overlooked or your boss seems indifferent to your contributions, that’s when a red flag should go up. A good boss knows the motivating power of recognition and should be acknowledging you both one-on-one and in group settings.
But feeling unappreciated or like you’re constantly being taken advantage of is absolutely not in anyone’s job description. This will cause stress and headaches.
If you’re in a company where people tend to work long days, like finance, construction, public safety or health care services, you need to adjust your expectations if you are being paid for the overtime. But if not, you need to address the issue directly. Employee burnout can be a threat to a company’s bottom line.
Is your boss a “praise thief”—a manager who steals credit for your work or ideas? Reclaiming ownership will enable you to gain visibility within the company and make a good impression on the higher-ups, which can potentially lead to a job opportunity in another department (away from your boss).
You must be familiar with your rights. Whether it’s your employment contract, position description, company human resources policies, or the state employment laws. You need to be armed with this information before discussing the situation with management or HR.
There is NO shame in leaving a job! If you’ve done everything you can and still aren’t feeling any more comfortable with your current situation, it may be time to move on. If “your stress level is causing you to lose sleep at night or if you’re unable to eat,” or “you’re feeling miserable,” you may want to take it as a sign to move on.
At some point, cutting your losses so you can have a fresh start at an organization more well-aligned to who you are will allow you to be yourself and achieve results that will benefit your career.
I experienced racism and being used before leaving my employment at Green America, 1612 K Street, Washington, DC (www.greenamerica.org). During the last year of my employment, I was so stressed out with ongoing headaches and other health issues. I knew after September 2017, it was time to prepare myself for moving on. Working with the Director of Finance was too toxic for me to continue on.
✅ State Employment & Labor Laws by State → https://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/state-employment-and-labor-laws/
✅ State Labor Laws - US Department of Labor → https://www.dol.gov
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Pen Name: Brown Crayon (pseudonym)