5 Warning Signs Your Boss Exploits You (and How To Cope With It)

Do you feel like your boss exploits you?

The business world is dangerous. When we’re young, we spend our time believing that our qualifications are what set us apart, but as it turns out, our attitude toward our work and, more importantly, toward ourselves becomes a more significant factor.

According to different experts, many people forget about their personal lives and submit to corporate servitude because they lack the guts to speak out. Unfortunately, some expectations are different from reality, and when trying to make a business flourish and be as successful as possible, some bosses are more likely to ask employees to work overtime, do different tasks, and stretch out to the max to achieve a particular goal.

So, do you feel like your boss exploits you? Whether it’s a bad attitude, too many tasks, or a toxic workplace, here are all the signs you should be looking for and then finding the right solutions for your problem:

your boss exploits you
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1. You have lots of tasks

In some cases, having lots of tasks means you might be getting ready for something bigger in your career, such as a promotion, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, your boss exploits you and gives you lots of tasks that are harder and harder to complete.

One of my friends works as an accountant in the mayor’s office in her hometown, and she was upset that one of her colleagues was always on the phone and not working. After months and months of watching her colleague tackle personal tasks and nothing at work (which she had to complete so there wouldn’t be a problem), she complained to her manager.

She expected the manager to understand her, especially since she took care of double the tasks normally assigned, but she was surprised to discover that the lazy colleague had been moved to a different department, and she now had to do the work for two employees, but with only one salary.

2. You always work overtime

If necessary tasks always come at the end of your shift, it might be a sign your boss exploits you. Of course, there might be cases when it’s important to take care of something the minute it appears and problems don’t respect a work schedule, but if that happens multiple times a week, it’s a red flag.

Everyone deserves a work-life balance, including you, so there’s no need to stay overtime every day just because something important arrives 10 minutes before you punch out. You can take care of it first thing in the morning.

3. You’re never understood

You probably work hard and try your best to give back to the business: your ideas, extra hours, dedication, sleepless nights, and whatever a specific situation requires you to do. But since we’re all humans, you sometimes might need to punch out early, take a few days from home, or come later because of a personal situation.

Since you give your all, you expect to be understood and not judged for your situation. But that doesn’t happen, and your boss starts making jokes about how you don’t work enough or how they pay you too much for your job. They make you feel guilty for trying to take care of everything, and you feel compelled to work even harder to prove them wrong. I’m sorry to say this, but if that happens, your boss exploits you, and it’s nothing more than a red flag.

your boss exploits you
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4. You’re underpaid

The biggest sign your boss exploits you is not paying you enough. According to experts, this is a sign of corporate exploitation, and it can hurt your mental health. You feel like you put a lot of time and effort into your work; you always come up with ideas; you’re open to trying new things, helping your colleagues, and being open to working more or later to finish tasks.

Unfortunately, your work, or how much you think about your work values, your experience and attitude towards your tasks, and everything that surrounds the business, don’t always justify a salary. If you feel like you should get more, schedule a one-on-one with your boss and make your request. Don’t forget to bring solid arguments and also work proof, if you have any.

5. The brain, but not the name

If you’re always the brain but never the name, it might be a sign that your boss exploits you. You might be the one who comes up with ideas, stays up late to finish different tasks, meets all the deadlines, and talks to clients, but you never get credit for your hard work or talent.

Do you feel like your boss exploits you? If they make you feel like your job is the easiest one in the company, so you shouldn’t complain, or if they make you feel like you’re disposable, you’re paid more than you should, and you should appreciate the opportunity you have to work there in the first place, here’s what you can do:

1. Check in with your colleagues

Don’t badmouth your boss, because you can never know what can be used against you or not, but talk to your colleagues and see if you have similar experiences. If they treat you all with the same disrespect, it might be time to talk to HR.

your boss exploits you
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2. Have a one-on-one with your boss

Requesting a meeting with your supervisor to talk about any miscommunications or points of disagreement is a smart thing to do. It helps you communicate, set boundaries, and find solutions moving forward.

Don’t forget to be specific, give examples, and also provide solutions. This will help you be prepared for a potentially tough conversation, and it will also help you realize what you need to do your job better.

This is a perfect opportunity to present your work and dedication, ask for a raise if needed, ask for help or assistance, and share the things that made you feel uncomfortable.

3. Document all the signs of mistreatment

If you feel like your boss exploits you, document it. In case the issues aren’t resolved after an honest conversation and you still feel abused at the workplace, you should create a paper trail to bring it to your boss’ superiors or HR.

4. Find a better place

Don’t forget that you’re not tied to a place that doesn’t fulfill your needs and doesn’t treat you right. Even if your boss tells you that your job could be filled in a matter of minutes because several people would want to be in your position, don’t feel pressured to give in.

Don’t feel compelled to stay at a job where you’re not understood, where you can’t grow personally and financially, where you can’t learn more, and where you always feel miserable.

If you tried everything and you still feel like your boss exploits you, it might be better for your health to pack up and move on. There’s nothing wrong with letting something go, even if it’s after a couple of years. Leave gracefully, without fighting or treating your boss or the company, and don’t forget that your peace of mind is what matters most.

Do you need additional help with your problem? You can always talk to a professional about your issues, but if you’re not ready for that, here’s a good book that will give you clarity!

Do you know any other signs your body exploits you? Let us know in the comments below, and let’s stop this toxic attitude for good! Until next time, here’s another useful post for you: 7 Toxic Relationship Red Flags You MUST Watch Out For

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