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More responsibility, no compensation

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Question: For the second time, my department has lost its office manager. Being the AA for that position, I have stepped up, above and beyond, to fill the void as much as possible. This time, I decided to ask for the position. I was pretty much denied the opportunity. I feel like I've been cheated because I've taken on a lot more responsibility — HR, office management and supervising roles — and am not compensated or respected for it.  What should I do?  -- Anonymous


I hear you. I did exactly the same for my FORMER boss. I stepped up and did work that was completely out of my job description for more than two years. I asked for acknowledgement and a raise, but was denied time and again. Recently, I was offered another job in a different department with an $8,000 increase for less responsibility. I approached my boss to see if he would do anything to keep me, and was told to go if I felt the need. I was more than upset, but I decided that I needed to leave.

You need to decide if staying or leaving is the option for you. If you really want that position, ask what you are missing from your resume to be awarded the job.

thanks jodi. with alot of responsibilities and no recognition, I am not motivated to be here. I've been assigned responsibilities I didnt know i was responsible for but I can't have the respect from the other employees without the title. I know I'm indespensible and I've given my all.

I did the same - everytime a manager left, I took over the workload and responsibility with no compensation. I loved working for the company so I just sucked it up for a while. And wouldn't you know I was laid off shortly after asking for the postion permanently. I wasn't as upset as I should have been because I was able to use that experience in the job I have now (it's one of those "I can't believe I get paid to do this" jobs.) The kicker is that the former company calls me about every other month to come back and take over that position. No way, Jose!

Document everything you've done above & beyond your job title & use the experience to look for another job where you will get the money & respect you deserve.

I was also in the same situation a number of years ago. I worked for a company for approx . 4 years. I was hired as a Jr AA but filled in on three separate occasions doing the job of a higher-up AA while they searched for replacements for the people that had left (same position 3 separate times). On the final go around, I requested the position I had filled in for numerous times before. I was denied the position being told, "I didn't have the experience". They didn't even consider the "on the job experience" I had gained doing the job for them as a fill-in.

I proceeded to find another position with another company. I do thank them for the job experience that allowed me to apply for and succeed at the new company. So, I would suggest you start looking for another job no matter how much you like your current company.

Call the labor boatd, that's what I'm doing.
Enough is enough, being appreciated is one thing, being used is another.

I was in a similar position a few years ago. The office manager got a raise her responsibilities were placed on my to do list. Another Admin went to another department and I again got her duties. At first they were content with working me 50-60 hours a week but then someone finally said, we need to hire someone. When I mentioned that I wanted to apply, I was told that it would be too hard to replace me in my current position (I was the 6th person in 3 months). I stuck it out for a while then the new office manager quit. Once again I got the duties. When I realized that they were content with never promoting me I left. I refuse to work for a company that won't compensate me for my work. 4 years after I left, I saw my old boss and he said, 'you know we never replaced your job or the office manager job. We've had so many temps most temp agencies won't even return our calls'. The office closed. I'm glad I left, I never would have gotten the recognition I deserved.

I feel your pain, I too was somewhat promised the role of Administrative Manager upon taking my Executive Assistant job in 2000 but have been passed by twice even though I have filled in for the Administrative Manager numerous times. But I feel that sometimes if you do your own job too well then you become one of those people they they do not want to promote due to the fact that YOU would be too hard to replace. I guess it is like a double edged sword, in one way it is a compliment about the work that you are doing but in another way it is a slap in the face. Hang in there if you feel that the job is worth staying for.

I too took on responsibilities that were beyond the scope of my job description. My supervisor was based out of another state & I was often called upon to travel to train & fill in for Assistants in local offices, a job that my supervisor should have been doing. Being "nice" and trying to look good for my supervisor, I agreed to do this work for bonuses. But after she had a baby, I was filling in more often than not. I eventually inquired about a title change, one equivalent to my supervisor's, since I maintained my state. I got the title, but not the compensation. My supervisor actually said, "Why should we change your salary when you've been doing the same work for a bonus?" Boy did I feel like a dummy! I guess it doesn't always befit you when you go out of your way to impress executives to showcase your abilities and loyalty to the company. So shortly after I polished up my resume' and took my skills elsewhere. I always give my employer 100% because that's my work ethic. But if I feel like I keep getting the short end of the stick, I don't hesitate to look into other options.

While this may not be the response that you want to hear (I didn't when it was stated to me), you must decide what is most important in your life and career. You can live with the situation, or find another job. Competition is alive and well and the job market can be limited, but never short-change yourself. You should be respected, appreciated, and compensated appropriately (even if those items are based upon your own personal standards, not necessarily the industry standards for your position or company). We would all like to believe that "what goes around comes around," both in a positive and negative sense. However, sometimes there are people that seem to "always come up smelling like a rose," no matter how kind you are or how hard you work. Also, consider the various ways a situation can be perceived and look at all the angles. If you still feel unhappy, even if you enjoy what you do, in the long run, it's not worth the overall dissatisfaction you end up having at the end of the day, week, month or year. Many things are never easy choices, and sometimes change can be intimidating; although, you sound like you can handle it. Trust me, I've been in a similar situation. In the long run, quality of life is more important than quantity of money. Decide what will make you the happiest and go for it!

Being indispensable may be your problem. If they promote you then they would have to replace you. I am not suggesting you work less, but you may want to point out that promoting you and allowing you to train your replacement could be a wiser choice than losing you altogether to a competitot.

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