Don’t be the of­fice door­mat

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders -

IT’S pretty darn frus­trat­ing to be the one who’s al­ways be­ing taken for granted. Maybe it’s be­cause you’re soft spo­ken or you have a hard time say­ing ‘no’ or you sim­ply hate con­fronta­tions. What­ever the case may be, be­ing taken for granted can of­ten leave you with con­flict­ing thoughts of whether you should leave your com­pany for “greener pas­tures” or stay and hope it gets bet­ter with time.

No mat­ter what di­rec­tion your sub-con­scious thoughts grav­i­tate, th­ese tips will help you earn the re­spect you de­serve wher­ever you go.

De­ter­mine the unique value you bring to your com­pany

It’s not easy fig­ur­ing out what value you add, es­pe­cially when your value and ex­pe­ri­ence are so closely re­lat­able. If you find your­self in this predica­ment, ask your­self this ques­tion: What unique qual­ity do I bring to the team that’s rel­e­vant to the com­pany? Per­haps you’re the prob­lem-solver, or you have a knack for over­com­ing the team dy­nam­ics and cre­at­ing a col­lab­o­ra­tive space.

Iden­ti­fy­ing what unique value to bring to the ta­ble should help you ac­knowl­edge your worth.

Be the master of your own ca­reer

think about your role mod­els. What do you think it is about their ca­reers that makes them so revered? In all like­li­hood, they have re­spect for what they do and peo­ple have re­sponded pos­i­tively to this.

When you have ad­mi­ra­tion for your job and start treat­ing it like it mat­ters, peo­ple around you will in­evitably do the same.

Give credit where due

Com­pli­ment­ing the peo­ple you work with is one of the eas­i­est ways to earn more re­spect. It also sets you apart from the rest. Giv­ing credit where it’s due is a re­minder that you don’t al­ways have to ex­pres­sively re­mind peo­ple of your own value. It doesn’t mean that you can’t still do the me­nial ad­min­is­tra­tive stuff when more hands are needed, or the odd cof­fee run. But be­ing that one per­son that peo­ple can AL­WAYS count on to go ‘the ex­tra mile’ makes other peo­ple take ad­van­tage of your sac­ri­fices. Don’t be afraid to re­mind peo­ple where you are, es­pe­cially when there is some­one else who is em­ployed to do the job. teach­ing your­self to say no (po­litely) will take the “be­ing taken for granted” bur­den off you.

For in­stance, as soon as you open your mail­box in the morn­ing, you’re wel­comed by yet an­other mail from your boss re­quest­ing that you drop what­ever you’re do­ing to take on a new ur­gent project.

Even though you’re think­ing “there’s no way”, telling your boss “no” is in­tim­i­dat­ing, es­pe­cially if he isn’t ex­actly the type to han­dle re­jec­tion very well.

But push­ing back your pri­or­i­ties to ac­com­mo­date other peo­ple, in­clud­ing your col­league who won’t stop bab­bling on about his epic week­end, adds to your to-do list, pos­si­bly set­ting you up for fail­ure.

Al­though, “No, I can’t do it” is the most log­i­cal thing to say when drown­ing in your work, it may con­vey a mes­sage of be­ing un­able to pri­ori­tise and ex­e­cute your tasks ef­fi­ciently. The se­cret lies in show­ing and not telling how pre­oc­cu­pied you are. So next time your boss re­quests you quickly type up a doc­u­ment, re­spond by show­ing him how much you have to do, how long each task will take, and what you have to put on hold to take on new tasks.

This way, not only will you show what’s on your plate, but to­gether with your boss, you can de­ter­mine what can re­main on your im­me­di­ate to-do-list, and what can be pushed back.

Or your col­league pops you a mail ask­ing you to do her one last huge favour. Bat­tling to give her an im­me­di­ate “no”, which you think will give an im­pres­sion of be­ing harsh, you reckon you can squeeze this re­quest into your week, if you jug­gle a few things around, wake up ear­lier or even stay up late.

But if you re­ally are pressed for time re­spond­ing with, “let me think about it” puts you in con­trol and sug­gests you’re ac­tu­ally weigh­ing in im­por­tant fac­tors first. More­over, it gives you the op­por­tu­nity to think things through, and soft­ens the “no” blow.

How­ever, show­ing no in­ter­est in giv­ing a hand in times of need could force your col­leagues to think you are not a team player. More­over, you don’t want to be la­belled as too big for your own boots.

But this is not to say you can’t raise your con­cerns when you feel you’re al­ways the one who gives the help­ing hand.

KNOW when to say no at the work­place.

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