The workplace can be a competitive and hostile environment at times; if you’re not willing to stand up for yourself you can easily find yourself being taken for granted.
If you think you’re being taken advantage of, it’s important you’re able to recognize the signs and do something about it.
Otherwise, you’re going to end up buried by work, underappreciated, stressed, or worse!
Here are 15 signs you are being taken for granted at work and what you should do to improve your situation:
15 Signs You Are Being Taken for Granted at Work
1. Your Boss And/Or Coworkers Never Say Thanks or Acknowledge Your Work
If there is something that screams you’re not being appreciated or that you’re taken for granted, it’s when no one thanks you for your hard work.
If your boss or coworkers don’t bother to thank you for the effort you put in, that’s a huge red and means you’re being taken for granted.
Related – Take the ‘Am I being taken advantage of at work‘ Quiz to find out if you are!
2. Your Boss Gives You All the Tasks No One Else Wants to Do
When your boss is always giving you tasks no one else wants to do, it’s a sign they don’t respect you or know you’ll do it without complaining.
This means you’re being taken for granted as someone who’ll do the grunt work.
3. Your Boss Expects You to Answer Their Emails or Calls 24/7
This is another sign of a toxic boss and that you’re being taken for granted.
Your boss should respect your time and not expect you to be at their beck-and-call 24/7.
If they’re calling you (and not others) outside of your contracted working hours you need to set some boundaries in place.
4. Your Boss Doesn’t Respect Your Work-Life Balance
Your boss should respect your need to have a healthy work-life balance, but if they’re not then you are likely being taken for granted.
Similar to calling you out of hours, if they’re making you work late, giving you work to do when you’re not working, etc. you need to stand up for yourself.
5. Your Boss And/Or Coworkers Always Assume You’ll Pick up Tasks
One of the core signs you’re being taken for granted, whether it’s work-related or not, is when people just assume you’ll do something.
If you’re always the one to do certain things, you can probably understand why. But you shouldn’t be that person, your coworkers should respect you and your time.
6. Your Boss or Manager Expects You to Do Their Tasks
When you’re being taken for granted, your boss or manager might start expecting you to do their work for them, which is totally out of line.
Unless there is a specific reason that’s been clearly communicated to you, your boss shouldn’t expect you to do their work.
7. Your Boss Withholds Important Information from You
If your boss is withholding important information from you, such as project updates or changes to policies and procedures, this is also a sign they don’t respect you.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that this makes doing your job more difficult. So, it’s something you need to address and not just put up with in silence.
8. Your Boss And/Or Coworkers Always Ask for Your Help But Never Help You Back
It never feels good to be in a one-sided relationship of any kind, let alone a working one!
If your boss and/or coworkers are always asking for your help but never helping you back, it’s a sign they don’t value you.
9. You’re Constantly Doing Tasks Outside of Your Job Description
If you’re constantly doing tasks outside of your job description, it’s a sign that no one else is willing to do them and they think you will.
This is a huge sign that you’re being taken for granted and should be addressed immediately.
10. You Haven’t Been Compensated Fairly for Your Workload
If you’re doing more work than what your job title and salary are based on, then you might be getting taken for granted.
It’s important to be fairly compensated for the work you do and to know your value, so make sure to speak up and let your boss know how you feel.
11. You’re Not Allowed or Able to Take Enough Breaks or Time Off
We all deserve our legally allowed breaks and time off at the very least, but some bosses take the mickey and don’t let us have them.
If you’re not allowed or able to take enough breaks, you’re going to feel stressed and burned out in no time.
12. You Know of Coworkers Receiving Larger Raises or Bonuses
It’s one thing to know that you’re not being fairly compensated yourself, but if you see your coworkers (even lazy ones in your eyes) getting larger raises, it’s going to sting.
If this is happening, it’s a strong sign that you’re not respected, not valued, are taken for granted, and need to speak with your boss asap!
13. Your Boss Acts Unprofessionally Around You
Acting unprofessionally around you doesn’t necessarily mean your boss is taking you for granted, but it does mean they don’t respect you professionally.
If your boss doesn’t respect you professionally it’s very likely they’ll also take you for granted.
14. You’re Given Timelines or Deadlines that Are Unrealistic
If you’re constantly being given timelines or deadlines that are unrealistic and do not have enough time to do the job properly, then it’s a sign your boss is taking you for granted.
They’re setting you up to fail, putting you under undue stress, and totally disrespecting you professionally and personally.
15. You’ve Expressed Your Concerns to Your Boss and Been Ignored
Finally, if you’ve been spotting the signs or getting the feeling you’re being taken for granted and already raised your concerns with your boss only to be ignored, it means it’s true.
If your situation isn’t getting better it sounds like you’re caught up in a toxic environment and you either need to escalate the issue or start looking for a new job!
What Should You Do if You’re Being Taken for Granted at Work?
If you feel like you are being taken advantage of at work, it is important to address the situation as soon as possible.
You could start by talking to the person who is taking advantage of you and explaining how their actions are affecting you, but that’s not going to work for everyone.
You may prefer to bring up the issue with your supervisor or HR representative, who can help mediate the situation and ensure that it is resolved in a fair and appropriate manner.
In the meantime, you need to know how to set boundaries and say no to people, no matter how difficult that is.
I’m not trying to blame you or say that it’s your fault, not at all.
But we could all get better at being assertive and putting our foot down when others are trying to take us for granted, this’ll help protect you.
If you continue to feel like you are being treated unfairly despite taking these steps, you may want to consider seeking out other job opportunities.
It is important to work in an environment where you feel valued and respected by your boss and coworkers, and that’s perfectly achievable.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.