Is it possible not to be aware that you are being taken advantage of? Absolutely. Recently, I bumped into a friend who has started his first job three years ago. For three years, he has been tasked to run simple errands, passed out for notable projects and even missed out on promotion opportunities. He wasn’t aware that he was singled out until one of his newer and younger peers took pity on him and told him in confidence that he has been “shelved away” by their department head. Only then, he realised that all those missed opportunities are deliberate and immediately walked away from such malicious environment.
Today, he is happier at another company with peers and management alike showing their appreciation for his work.
Here are some indications that you might be taken for a ride at work.
You seem to have endless work, all needed to be completed since yesterday and your boss seems to like to pile last minute work at 5.55pm on your desk, while your teammates happily packing up at 5.30pm, getting ready for the commute home.
Pass Away for Promotion
Time and time again, you seems to pass away from promotion although you know that your work is among the best in the department. Even the slacker in your team who has hired barely 6 months ago, managed to score a decent pay raise while you have to make do with a 3% incremental raise.
Compare Your Peers
Your peers enjoy swaying into work at 9.25am while your boss screams at you for being unpunctual for being late for 1 minute due to massive train strike. You always get call back to the office for overtime on Sundays by your boss, while you never seem to see your colleagues needing to contribute to the same hours as you. Your team mates get more prestigious projects like business trips to Paris and London, flying on business class while you are sent to Zimbabwe and Timbuktu on economy cattle class.
Despite all the above that you have endured for more than 2 years, you still get a barely average appraisal with a non-committal response from your superior. He never gives you proper directions or even advice on how and where you can better yourself. When you pursued, he can only comment that you need to do better.
Recognise It Can be Anyone
Don’t despair! It can happen to anyone. Not just you. Being singled out within a team or a department calls out on unfair practices and you should seek to have a long chat with your superiors on how you feel. Or approach your HR if you feel unjust.
Have you encounter such incidents before? Got better tips? You’re welcome to share your thoughts in the comments below!