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Sometimes, I tend to believe that the more I work hard, the more work will be given to me by my boss. Is this fair? My boss answers in the affirmative because he claims that I’m being paid the highest package in the industry. How should I continue managing my situation without antagonizing my boss? – Overworked but Overpaid.
A man went into a pizza parlor and ordered a medium sized pepperoni. When it was ready, the cook asked him if he wanted it cut into four pieces or six. The man thought for a moment, then said, “Better make it four pieces. I don’t think I can eat six pieces.”
No matter how productive and hardworking you appear to be, there will always be added pressure for you to do just a little bit more. Do you want four or six pieces? I mean, do you want to work an average of ten hours a day in the office or bring home your work? It’s the only choice you have if you want to continue receiving the highest pay package in your industry.
I was on the same boat more than 15 years ago when I was pirated by a bank from another organization. They tripled my salary, gave me fabulous cash allowances, gave me a new car, and offered me a housing loan at a friendly rate, only to discover later on that I will be working hard enough with one assistant, who was excessively absent and uncooperative at times.
The job was good for three people, but I didn’t bother to complain because it was my “fault” that I was attracted to a high-paying job without considering the possible consequences of working in a highly-pressurized environment. And besides, I believe in Charles Handy’s model of a “portfolio” manager who is expected to be multi-skilled at all levels and all fronts, day-in, day-out.
You may be hard working and cooperative by nature, which are both admirable traits, but there’s always a limit to this, as with everything else in life. So learn how to cope with what we call as unreasonable demands for your time and effort. Your strategy may include the following:
- Offer some trade-offs and alternatives to your boss. If he wants to give you additional work load, say something such as: “I’d like to work on this new assignment, but that should mean I won’t be able to complete Project “A” on time. Or which would you like me to prioritize?” Even if the boss insists on demanding that you work on both assignments on a tight deadline, and if the priority project isn’t finished on schedule, then he knows that he’ll be on the wrong side of the road.
- Magnify a problem and propose a solution. Identify several dreaded tasks that make you unreasonably busy. Do you hate that weekly formal report or other distasteful assignments? Now is your chance to present a case before your boss. If he starts to overload you, ask for some concessions. Say something such as: “I could probably handle this new assignment, but this time-consuming weekly report is taking a toll on my time.” Eureka! The boss could probably give the assignment or the writing of weekly reports to someone else, or even do it himself.
- Do something unacceptably expensive for management. Assuming that you’ve already built an untarnished reputation as a hard working team player who is always willing and capable to pitch in and help, and then you have the unmistakeable credibility to propose that the organization spend something to buy a new computer or machine or hire a temp, if not a regular employee. With your proposal, the boss may think twice before overloading you with work for fear that your expensive proposal may be repeated in the light of budgetary constraints.
- Plead an overload in many ways than one. You should be able to prove this either in plain words or body language, if you’re challenged to do so. It will surely help if you have the facts and figures to support your claim. But it’s even better when these can be used to show workload on a comparative basis with other workers doing similar work within the organization.
CHALLENGED? This article is for non-management people who can’t raise an issue directly against one’s boss for fear of reprisal or job insecurity. If you’re part of management who has an opposing or supporting view, then send us your own experience or any published material by a management expert to email@example.com. Follow Rey Elbo for his random management thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.
InterAksyon.com means BUSINESS