Work Smarter//

8 Signs You Are Being Taken Advantage of by Your Co-workers

If you work in such an environment, make sure staying further doesn't affect your career path.

By fizkes/Shutterstock
By fizkes/Shutterstock

One thing that most good employees of well-respected companies have in common is that they practice shared values and virtues that are held firmly.

They work for leaders championing the kind of company culture that ensures no jerks, bullies, and troublemakers filter in. 

Granted, if you are such an employee and you’re witnessing the workplace behaviors outlined below, weeds are starting to grow. And it probably may be affecting your performance.

If you work in such an environment, it may be time to “test the soil” to make sure whether staying further may affect your career path.

Here are 8 signs that will clearly say you’re being taken advantage of by your co-workers.

1. Extra work is dumped on you. 

Most likely, a particular co-worker has seen something in you that’s given him or her license to try to use you. Sure, at times it’s normal to pitch in and take on extra work when someone is ill or on a leave. What’s not normal is constantly having extra work dumped on you that drastically increases your own workload, especially if the extra work is not in-line with your job description. This brings us to the next related point.

2. You perform work outside your job description.

If you find yourself doing favors for others and performing work outside your normal responsibilities, and don’t enough have time to complete your own work, this is a problem that could also make you partly responsible. Setting good boundaries and being more assertive to protect your time could curb impressions that you’re a “people pleaser.” However, if your boss or a more senior-level co-worker requires you to run errands, do “special favors” or have you stay late while the rest of the office waltzes out at 6pm, he or she is clearly taking advantage of you. 

3. You are not taken seriously.

You were hired or promoted for your creativity and expertise in a specialized area, and for seeing things out-of-the-box. Now that you’re working your tail off brainstorming ideas and present solutions, no contribution of yours is taken seriously. 

4. People will dump their problems on you.

I’m guilty of this because I tend to empathize with others by listening to them — too much, at times. If co-workers treat you as that one person who always takes in everybody else’s drama and venting, they’re taking advantage of you.

5. You are not recognized for your efforts.

If you’re not being recognized for your extra efforts by your peers, team members or leader, if they’re systematically excluding your from bigger opportunities, projects, or meetings you know you should be part of, it’s probably time to have an honest chat with your boss or team leader. When you do, make a good case for how you’re being denied recognition for work well done, and how you’re being excluded for work that will grow and advance your career. If you’re at a standstill, consider evaluating whether this is the right company culture for you.

6. You’re the victim of relentless gossip.

Gossip in the workplace is common, but relentless gossip meant to damage a reputation has damaging effects for both the individuals involved and the organization as a whole. Watch for groups of disgruntled employees actively acting out their unhappiness and crucifying fellow peers, management, and company direction.

7. You only see your co-workers when they need you.

Ever notice how some people — friends and family members — only show up when they need your help? This is also true for the workplace and an obvious sign that your co-workers are taking advantage of you. They may see you as a resource for their problems, and when the sh*t  hits the fan, they’ll buddy up to you, and try to manipulate you into solving their problems.  

8. You never see your co-workers when you need them.

A co-worker in need asks for help and you kindly make a sacrifice by taking time out of your schedule to pinch-hit at a crucial time. When it’s your turn to ask for help in return, he is M.I.A. and leaves you to fend for yourself. Sure, things happen and people aren’t always available on a whim. But most of us have an intuitive sense to know when someone is, plain and simple, being too selfish to return the favor.

Originally published on Inc.

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