Don’t be the office doormat
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.