March 27, 2014 / Coaching Skills / HR / Talent Management / Leadership

Ask Mariposa | Overworked and Undervalued

Erica asks: I am currently performing job duties that are a step up from my job classification and working roughly 50 hours overtime!  Internal hiring for this advanced position has been delayed for 6 months.  Since I am already doing the work for this position and getting paid at a lower classification, I feel as if I am being taken advantage of.  I want to approach management about this, but not sure how.  What do you suggest I do?

Tawny Lees, COO of Mariposa, responds:

Hi Erica,

Thanks for your question – it’s a good one! And not uncommon. I strongly suggest you talk to your manager about the situation and work together to identify a solution. Here are some specifics for preparing for and handling the conversation:

  • Get really clear about your intended outcomes before having any conversations with management. Do you want to be considered for the higher position? Are you okay with the temporary workload if you are paid appropriately? Do you not want to perform these extra job duties at all?
  • Once you are clear on your intended outcomes, brainstorm (by yourself) some ideas about how you and your manager can meet your needs and the business needs. Promote you and then back-fill your position? Hire a contractor for 6 months? Share the workload with a few other people? Cut back on some specific deliverables for 6 months?
  • Reach out to your manager and ask for a meeting to work together on a plan for handling business needs while the team is lacking a person in the position.
  • Stay positive, constructive and solution-oriented while being firm about what you are and are not willing to do.

I’m sure you are tired from all the work, so my final suggestion would be to get some rest and downtime before you do this thinking and before you have this conversation. You will be much better able to think clearly and manage your emotions.

Good luck!