Are You Being Treated Unfairly At Work?
Perhaps your boss has a knack for making you feel unworthy or patronised on a regular occasion? Makes you feel as though everything you do is just not quite good enough? Whatever it may be, I'm here to show you how to recognise it and deal with it appropriately.
Not too long ago, I had a very similar situation. It took me a while to realise that it wasn't my ability that was at fault but it was in fact that no matter what I did, it would never be good enough.
Believe me, I know what a tricky situation it is, especially as it is usually happens very subtly and over time. Almost like a very slight mental manipulation that isn't outright bullying or discrimination but leaves you feeling worthless and questioning your own ability.
Here are a few signs on how to recognise that something is wrong in the workplace:
1. When discussing your KPI's and where you need to improve, do you feel empowered to improve and do better, or as though you have been dragged through the dirt a few times?
This one is a biggy. After you leave the meeting or hang up on the video call, do you have a clear vision of where your career is going and feel inspired to work harder and achieve amazing things?
If you don't, then this is a clear indication that something is wrong. In my experience, after a three hour meeting with my (ex) boss to supposedly discuss how I can improve and grow within the business, I left feeling upset, anxious and as though I was incapable of doing the job.
The usual structure for these kind of chats should be 'you have done this well, this well and this well, to improve maybe you could work on this, we are working to get you up to this position...' It should feel constructive and reflective of how well you have done so far and how you can push yourself to do better.
Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. If your boss is doing an amazing job of telling you how badly you are doing, without working with you to help you grow and better yourself, something is wrong.
2. Have they ever made a personal remark about you?
This was one that I struggled with a lot. Believe me, I can take constructive criticism on how to do better and improve in regards to my work, however, make a remark on my appearance or personal life and I will not be happy.
My boss once told me that 'I had let myself go and should be wearing more make up'. Making a comment on what you are wearing and how much make up you have chosen to apply is none of their business and should not be coming up at all.
This is harder to deal with in smaller companies from my experience, they are very close knitted and like to stick together. The larger corporates usually wouldn't dare make a comment like this as they may be faced with court cases for discrimination in the workplace.
If you have been experiencing anything like this in the workplace, please feel empowered to speak up and stand up for what you feel is wrong. You should also do some internal work on finding your core values and whether this company is the right place for you.
3. Is mental health seen as a weakness?
It breaks my heart to say this one. But unfortunately, some companies see any sort of mental health issues as a sign of weakness. If your boss has the mentality of 'just deal with it' or make you feel guilty for putting your own mental health before your job, then this is not a healthy environment.
If you feel as though you have to work ridiculous hours and can never really turn off from work, this is also a toxic place to be working. It is one thing working as hard as you can to get that promotion but ultimately you need to be able to switch off in the evenings and do other activities that are important for you.
You should feel as though you have the choice to work a bit later or arrange a call in your lunch break, you shouldn't be forced to or told that you aren't committed enough if you aren't doing this.
4. How are you feeling day to day?
If you have been experiencing any signs of anxiety or depression that is being caused by your work or colleagues, maybe it's time to start putting yourself first. Ultimately, we need to learn to trust our intuition slightly more, if something doesn't feel right it usually isn't right.
I have recognised that something is wrong, what do I do now?
Here are a few tips that can help you in making work related decisions:
1. Do you have any other colleagues that you trust to speak to about how you're feeling? You never know, you might not be the only one feeling like this.
2. Write down the pros and cons of working for that company. If the only pros are money, commute or that its familiar for you, perhaps you should be looking at your dreams and whether this place is going to help you achieve them. Remember, there are hundreds of jobs and industries out there, this isn't the only job in the world. Perhaps you would love to start a business but are too scared to take the leap? Use this time to work out a plan.
3. Write a five year plan and a forever plan. This might seem overwhelming, however studies have shown that planning for your future and getting excited about your dreams and desires can help you make decisions and feel motivated in the now. Just take it one step at a time and start putting it into action.
If you wish to learn more about creating a future full of your deepest desires and dreams, check out Tony Robbins, Unleash The Power Within.
4. Speak to loved ones and get their opinions. Remember to seek the advice of people that you trust, not people that will force their opinions onto you.
Just remember to be true to yourself and do not let anyone make you feel as though you aren't good enough.