You leave work feeling tired, frustrated, and angry. During the long ride home and in traffic, you ask yourself, “Am I being exploited?”
As it is popularly stated: one man's meat is another man's poison. That is the case exactly.
There is a common misconception that a job is exploitative if the salary is unconscionably low. However, I think it is more than that.
How about those who voluntarily work for free?
The truth is, getting a new job is an exciting event in life. During interviews, you were told about all of the opportunities to gain experience, learn new skills and advance your career. When you accepted the job offer, you were told that salary will increase and bonuses will be given over time.
But for some, things will not turn out the way they expected. You’re not given the promotion and bonuses you were promised.
That's where you start to feel exploited.
When someone feels exploited, it negatively affects everyone - the employee, the employer and the clients.
The employee becomes depressed, frustrated or angry because he feels like his career is stagnating. His unhappiness may affect may affect his colleagues too because they could "gossip" about the boss sometimes. His work productivity decreases because he feels that there is no point in doing more than the minimum required. He secretly goes to job interviews while giving creative excuses for disappearing.
The employer also suffers. He is wasting money by paying someone who is not motivated to give his best efforts. And he wonders why one of his employees constantly insists on calling sick almost every week. If the employee ends up quitting and has to be replaced, the employer has to spend time and money training the replacement and getting him up to speed.
If you are an employee and feel exploited at your current job, the obvious answer is to quit. Unless your employer has you chained to your desk, I don't see how you can be exploited. You're always free to leave and get another job. Abi na?
Yeah, I know life is not that easy. You have to consider the economy and the job market before jumping off the cliff.
You can try being proactive. Ask your boss for additional responsibilities. Or you can ask to be reassigned elsewhere. But keep in mind there is only so much you can do to convince your boss.
If you are forced to stay in an exploitative environment, some have suggested changing your perception or attitude. This has personally never worked for me, but if you think rearranging your office, restructuring your desk, taking antidepressants, or seeing a career counsellor will change the way you see your job, then by all means, give it a shot.
I have purposed in my heart that when I start my own business, and start employing people, I won't force them. I will pay them as agreed and that payment is sure to go up periodically (We would make profit, of course). I will do my best to make sure my employees are happy as it is my dream to have happy employees.
Employer's are not required to be generous, but they are required to be fair.
Employers should do their best to ensure that their employees do not feel like they are being exploited. One of the best ways to do this is to be totally sincere about salary, advancement and expectations before the person is given the job.
This may scare off "chickens" who generally have other options. But those who stay won’t feel cheated in the long run because they know what they are getting themselves into.
However, ultimately it is up to you, the employee to make the best of your job or look elsewhere.
P.S I really can't explain how Monday Inspirational Reviews is recently gearing towards career and business. I hope it's helping someone. This post was actually inspired by a tweet. Thank you, Tony.
Some people stay because they love their job while others stay because they love their employer.
Would you rather love your job and hate your boss OR would you rather love your boss and hate your boss? Share your thoughts. Thanks.