13 Things You Need to Stop Tolerating at Work If You Want a Successful Career
Statistics show that people change their jobs every 4 years and 2 months. There are very different situations at work and while some can be pleasant and even rewarding, others can be almost unbearable. There are many reasons to leave a position and changing jobs is sometimes even necessary, especially if an honest discussion with upper management leads to nowhere. There are situations that clearly signal that it’s time to escape and it’s important to know what’s best for you and your career.
Although work is probably not the most important part of life, it’s possible that it’s still quite a large part of it. We at Bright Side decided to find out which situations you shouldn’t tolerate at work.
1. Inadequate bureaucracy
Just imagine a situation if you had to coordinate every lunch break or any action at work using notes and permission slips — getting a vacation in such a company is a serious quest. And if you had to make a very detailed report of what you’ve accomplished during the day and measure how much time every task took, you could find yourself spending more time on the list than on the work itself. This is a terrible picture but nevertheless, many companies continue to demand this from their employees.
- Forbes calls such companies “slow” and terrible for career development so there is no point staying in this mess — do something to try to reduce the amount of bureaucratical nonsense.
2. Certain things cannot be discussed.
If someone tells you that discussing your salary is wrong, untactful, or impolite, you should interpret that as a warning sign. And if they try to make you feel guilty for fighting for your own financial interests, you should know that building a good career in this company will be extremely hard.
- Discussing your salary with your boss and asking for a raise for objective reasons, such as the increase in the amount of work, is perfectly normal.
3. Incidental expenses
Market relations mean that a job is a place where you earn money — not spend it. If you have to spend even a bit of money at work for the needs of the company and it’s not compensated, then it’s not a very good company to be working at.
- Even if it’s just some inexpensive office supplies, it’s recommended by business coach and career consultant Rachel Ritlop not to tolerate such situations and to stop working for such companies.
4. Taking the blame
You come to work on Monday morning, open your inbox, and see an angry letter that says that you had to calculate the expenses for a specific project by Friday at 6 PM. While you are certain that you didn’t receive this task and this is the first time you’re hearing about it, any of your attempts to explain fall on deaf ears. Such situations are a good reason to think about changing your job.
- If your boss starts blaming you for not completing tasks that you weren’t informed of or if they give you strange or vague tasks, then it’s time to bring up the issue and come to a solution that will suit you.
5. Working with ghosts
Ghosting is a relatively new term that is used for a situation when a partner leaves a relationship without saying a word. The psychological harm of this phenomenon is being studied, but even a colleague at work or your boss can do a lot of harm if they show signs of such unprofessional behavior.
- If your questions or requests are constantly being ignored, you should talk to your boss or to your HR department.
6. Promises, promises...
Constant promises to give you a raise or a promotion, to improve your workplace, to provide you with training or courses, or any other false promises are just a way to keep you working. Career coach Roy Cohen says that such bosses never manage to keep their position for long which means that you will never get whatever it is they promised.
- If your boss promises you something that’s tied to a specific date, it’ll be easier to get them to keep their word. For example, if you were promised a raise if you complete a certain task, you’ll be able to prove the results of your work.
7. Doing friendly favors
Sometimes, bosses use friendly relationships to exploit their employees. If your boss is a good friend of yours or just a very nice person, it’s very hard to refuse to do something for them: finish the task, stay an hour later, and so on. This becomes systematic over time — and you may one day look up and notice that you’re just working overtime for free.
- A friendly relationship at work is great unless it cancels out the working process. If it does, we’re not sure it’s something you can call a friendship.
8. “It doesn’t work like that here.”
Even the very fact that such a phrase is said should make you worry. It is a rare case when it’s prohibited to come early or to work overtime. Usually, these words hide the unwritten rules of the company: not to argue with the boss, not to have your own opinion, or not to take a vacation or a sick leave for more than a certain number of days.
- If there is a list of rules that contradict the law, you should think well and hard if you really need such a job.
9. Emotional blackmail
When you have a really close relationship with your boss or your coworkers, you might hear such words as “You’re leaving us” or “How can you betray us like this?” and such methods of emotional pressure make you cancel your own plans, your goals, and may even make you go against your principles. Such phrases are often said when you are trying to fight for your opinion or your rights.
- Forbes experts say that employees who are ready to give up their principles are less successful than those who are not. That’s why we don’t recommend staying in an environment where you can’t be yourself.
10. “We have a difficult situation now.”
Constant reminders that the company is in a difficult situation will never stop. Temporary duties will be permanent, you won’t get a raise, and the promised changes will never come.
- Unless the company tells you how long the difficult period will be and how you will be compensated for the overtime work, you shouldn’t meet them halfway. It’s important to not let the temporary critical situation become permanent.
11. “We are doing you a favor.”
If the HR department presents a sick leave or a vacation as a gift, you should start to worry.
- Don’t forget that employees have rights and it’s a violation of the law if those rights are taken away.
12. Changing priorities all the time
Urgent tasks become non-urgent, a working day has no plan, every hour the boss tells you to drop whatever you were doing and start doing something else — have you been in a situation like this? If you are asked to do one thing right now and something else 5 minutes later, there is no way you can work well and focus on your job. The only thing you will definitely have here is constant stress.
- A good boss is supposed to provide an employee with a plan and the change of priorities should be an exception, not a rule. If your boss changes priorities, you should talk to them about it.
Unfortunately, sexism comes in all forms. This can be sexual harassment in the workplace, dirty jokes, comments that women aren’t as smart as men, or even a difference in salaries between male and female employees.
- Any gender discrimination causes stress and has a negative effect on an employee’s self-esteem. You should protect yourself.
Almost everybody works to make a living. Some lucky people enjoy what they do, but there are many people who struggle at work. Have you ever had to deal with a difficult work situation? Share your stories with us in the comment section below!