You Deserve Better, No Matter What Your Boss Says (or Doesn’t)

I not too long ago began a brand new job at a medium-sized nonprofit. Overall, it has been rewarding work, amiable colleagues, good pay and advantages. But I’m more and more conscious of a “martyr tradition,” during which individuals frequently work nicely past their 40 hours, don’t take comp time they’re entitled to, work on holidays and different days off, and even work (remotely, at the least) whereas sick. The work we do isn’t life-or-death. This habits appears to be the established order. While I’ve by no means been advised I’m anticipated to frequently work additional hours, work whereas sick, and so on., that appears to be an unstated expectation and is modeled by prime managers.

I’m a tough employee who’s joyful to go the additional mile when it’s required, however I additionally worth a wholesome work-life stability. I’ve taken comp time and was not advised I couldn’t, but it surely was nonetheless uncomfortable, since most individuals right here don’t do this, and it was made clear to me how my absence would have an effect on others. I’ve additionally held the road about not engaged on days off, with the identical kind of message despatched.

I’m unsure the right way to tackle this; once I’ve raised the final subject of wholesome stability with my colleagues and superiors, the response has tended to be alongside the strains of: Gee, wouldn’t that be good! Beyond sustaining my very own boundaries, is there something I can do?


The neatest thing you are able to do is keep your cheap and really wholesome boundaries. Many firms have these unstated cultures of overwork, however overwork isn’t good work. It leaves individuals disillusioned and burned out. It doesn’t make you a greater worker, not likely. It’s a disgrace that your colleagues have purchased into this concept that they must sacrifice themselves to their jobs. You are setting a great instance. I can think about it should really feel precarious, doing one thing as regular as taking your personal comp time.

I used to work at NBCU and left the corporate 15 years in the past underneath difficult circumstances. Recently, I’ve seen a number of openings at NBCU that mesh nicely with my expertise and ability set. I do know somebody in H.R. at NBCU and reached out a pair weeks in the past to inquire in regards to the opening(s), and likewise to see whether it is value my effort and time to use to positions on the firm as I might presumably be on a NER (not eligible to rehire) checklist or have some “ding” related to my identify.

I’ve not heard again from my pal. This is just not a detailed pal, however we now have socialized quite a few instances. I’m struggling to not name them out for not even offering a perfunctory reply. Everyone is aware of jobs are earned on benefit, however having an individual on the firm typically gives that little “push” or perception. I’m disenchanted of their lack of widespread courtesy. Am I off base to really say one thing?

Mike, Los Angeles

Yes, you’re off base to say one thing. As you your self notice, this particular person is just not a detailed pal. Socializing collectively just a few instances doesn’t imply they owe you something. I’m not clear on what you’d name your pal out for. Not answering an e mail is just not a social crime. And why would you go to that excessive as a substitute of merely sending a follow-up e mail? Most individuals are drowning in e mail and are performing inbox triage every single day. There may very well be any variety of causes they haven’t but responded.

If that is certainly, a pal, give them the good thing about the doubt. Maybe they really feel awkward or uncomfortable about your inquiry. Maybe they’re which means to get to it. Regardless, this particular person is just not the impediment standing between you and a job at your earlier employer. I perceive your frustration, however there’s quite a bit right here you need to replicate on and rethink. I’m additionally curious why you suppose jobs are earned on benefit. Since when?

I work for a midsize gross sales firm within the Midwest. My boss has advised me on a number of events that I’m being promoted, however when the time comes, he says he tried however administration wasn’t on board. Now he tells me it’s 60 days away, then 16 weeks, then inside a yr. He does in entrance of others, too. I’ve requested him to cease telling me that, however he doesn’t. He appears to suppose it should raise my spirits and make me really feel essential, but it surely’s doing the alternative. He makes me really feel silly, and it feels merciless. Outside of reporting him to H.R., do you have got any recommendation for what I can say to him?


If you’ve advised your boss to cease and he hasn’t, I doubt there’s another mixture of phrases that can get by way of to him. In conditions like this, repetition is essential. Every time he dangles this promotion in entrance of you, remind him to cease. Remind him of how lengthy he has been doing this. Tell him what you advised me: that this habits is just not motivating, it’s deflating. Sometimes, it’s only listening to the reality time and again and over that will get individuals to really hear. Also, begin on the lookout for a brand new job. You deserve higher.



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