It’s tough starting out in any workplace as a young person. There’s no getting past the fact you’ll have more to prove than near enough anyone in the office. After all, they have past positions and experience to fall back on. You’re the new kid, and everyone’s going to know this is your first job. As such, you may feel as though every day is a challenge, and all your colleagues are out to test you.
This is standard stuff, and we’ve all had to deal with it. Think of it as an initiation into the working world. Prove yourself often enough, and the challenges will soon stop. You’ll be invited to eat at the big table, as it were, and you’ll finally feel like part of the team. What’s more, you’ll then be able to rest easy that a workforce will never throw so much your way again. After all, you have experience now.
But, sometimes, tests like these take a more sinister turn, especially where your boss is involved. And, given they’re the ones who hire and fire, that can make your life difficult. After all, not impressing here could lose you the role altogether. But, it’s not unheard of for bosses to take advantage of young workers. And, as well as being a discrimination issue, that’s far from fair. But, how do you know if this is happening to you? We’re going to look at the signs, and help you decide what to do about them.
Taking legal liberties
Legal liberties are, by far, the most severe way bosses take advantage of young team members. The trouble is, they know that you’re new to the working world. As such, they might think they can get away with pushing legal boundaries in specific areas. It’s unlikely you have much idea of simple things like acceptable working hours and break times. The worst case scenario is that your boss even tries to get out of paying you overtime or meeting minimum wage. After all, they know this is the first money you’ve earnt. Most of us are just happy to get that first pay packet, irrelevant of what it contains.
But, left unchecked, legal issues like these could fast get out of control. What’s more, dealing with this issue is often more straightforward than we realize. Given your boss is assuming you don’t know the laws yet, prove them wrong with a little online research. You could even head to sites like mbradylaw.com and find out about legal action you’re already within your rights to take. Often, just knowing that you’ve read up on this stuff is enough to keep your boss at bay. If not, you now know a legal firm who can represent you next time they decide to take liberties against you.
Giving you tasks outside of your role
In society, we all know that the young ones in the office get the rubbish jobs. If there are tea and coffee rounds to handle, the job is sure to fall in a youngster’s lap. But, if this keeps happening to you, you don’t have to put up with it. Of course, there’s nothing unreasonable about expecting you to get the coffee a few times. You need to do your part to chip in if you want any chance at finding your place. But, if you notice the task falling to you every time, something isn’t right. What’s more, you need to address this to ensure your work itself doesn’t suffer. After all, you have as much to do as anyone else. Why should you take an hour or more from your day to get them drinks? Of course, addressing this won’t be easy. Refuse point blank and it’s sure to be a black mark against your name. Instead, try to make a joke of it. When your boss gives you yet another task which isn’t part of your role, you could mention that you’ve already got a lot on. Never accuse or lose your temper, but don’t be afraid to stick to your guns, either. Often, standing up for yourself gains you more respect than you’d get from rolling over and doing all those extras.
Giving other people recognition for your work
Recognition is crucial in any workplace. It boosts morale and reminds us why we work so hard in the first place. But, many bosses are reluctant to give credit where it’s due when it comes to young workers. In fact, you may even find yourself in a position where credit for your efforts is given to other colleagues. After all, they’re as desperate to stand out as you are. Carol might have only given you a color idea for that flyer, but she may not have any qualms taking full credit for it. And, given that your boss already has faith in Carol, they’ll be much more willing to sprinkle praise on her. This can be frustrating and could affect your work ethic if it goes unchecked.
Obviously, you don’t want to go demanding praise when you’re still new to the position. Instead, you could attempt to overcome early recognition issues by continuing hard work. After all, Carol can’t take credit for everything you do. And, once your boss comes to know your work style, they’ll have a much better idea of what you do well. If the issue continues past your first months, however, there’s nothing wrong with addressing your feelings here. As can be seen from sites like careertrend.com, there are sensitive and thoughtful ways to approach this. If you keep this in mind, you’ll impress with your professionalism and your bravery. And, you may just see positive results before you know.
A final word
Most bosses appreciate and nurture young staff. As such, there’s no guarantee that you’ll face issues like these. But, if you do feel your boss is taking advantage of you this way, don’t be afraid to take action. Your career and your happiness will benefit from it.