Posted on Apr 18, 2012 @[email protected]

Many workers feel as if their efforts in the work place aren’t being aptly appreciated. Often both our managers and co-workers tend to overlook all that we do. So how can you as an employee demand a bit more respect?

Does your boss ask you to do things that fall far outside of your job description? If so it is likely you are feeling overworked and disrespected. If this is the case your boss is taking advantage of you, and if you are complying with his requests then you are letting him do so. First and foremost sit down and talk with your boss. Ask him for an overview of what is expected of you in your position. Don’t just expect him to suddenly stop asking you to do irrelevant on his own. By starting a conversation about what you are and are not expected to do, you’ll know if it’s appropriate for you to decline doing some of the tasks they ask of you. You’ll also get a clearer picture of your future within the company and whether or not you should stay where you are. Once you know what is expected of you, you can either draw your own lines of what you are and are not willing to do, agree to do the extra tasks, or leave your current position and look for a new one. No matter what you choose at least you’ll be making the decision for yourself.

Unfortunately to really gain respect you’ll likely need to engage in some office politics. It’s important that you get a sense of your culture. You need to know what qualities are appreciated and who fits in, in order to gain respect. Make sure others know what you’ve accomplished. Don’t brag and don’t lessen the work others have done, instead be rather matter of fact about your accomplishments. People may not know just what you are capable of. You’ll need to learn to become a bit more persuasive when you talk. Develop a style of communication which you can adjust based upon your audience. If you appeal to a variety of audiences and don’t align yourself too strongly with one group of people in you allow yourself to be resilient to change within your office and will be respected by everyone. At the same time your should keep an eye open towards people who may be trying to sabotage you within your office. If somebody is trying to taint your reputation unfairly then you may want to bring the issue up with your manager or human resources representative. Be sure to stay true to yourself, once you analyze the political games going on in your office you’ll better know how you’ll have to act to earn respect and you can then decide if you’re willing to do what you need.

So what can you do if your boss is bullying you? First and foremost take some time away from work in order to get some perspective on your current situation. Instead of blowing up at work consider why your boss may be acting the way he or she is. Has your work ethic changed? Are you failing to live up to their expectations? Once you’ve tried to figure out if there is something you can do to improve the situation, sit down with your boss and talk. Keep the conversation positive and put the responsibility on yourself. Ask how you can be a better employee and offer to alleviate some of the stress they are currently having to take on. If your boss continues to bully you after you’ve tried to work things out, you may want to find a new job.

There are ways to earn more respect at work. Communication is really key to making a career break through. If things don’t change however, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.

Robert Boroff Executive Profile Managing Director Reaction Search International

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