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Watch out for 3 advantage-takers

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in Career Management,People Management,Workplace Communication

When you jump headfirst into a new job, it’s not uncommon to want to be as helpful as possible. Richard Moy, for The Muse, writes that it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for people who might take advantage of your help­­f­­ul nature. Here are three people that could do just that and how to handle the situation:

1.  The “I’m Swamped” Person. Be wary of co-workers who are eager to pass off their work to others. If you see someone who is truly swamped, don’t be afraid to lend a helping hand. However, keep an eye out for those who are constantly asking for your help and never do their own work. Let your co-worker know that you have a lot on your plate, but if you have the time, you’d love to help. This will help him realize you have responsibilities of your own, but you’re not shutting him out.

2.  The Lost Delegator. If you’re constantly tasked with assignments above your pay grade without any help, it’s time to talk to your superior. Before you get excited about an ­opportunity to impress your boss, make sure you know what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to ask the delegator. He’s probably oblivious to the fact that you’ve never done a task like it before. If you’re not interested in learning more, it’s OK to respond saying, “I don’t have any experience in this area so I don’t think I’m the best person to help you with this task.” Passing on the task is better than blindly working toward a result.

3.  The Guy You’ve Never Met. If you’re really skilled at your job, you’ve probably had people ask for help in the past. It’s annoying, however, when the same person only talks to you for help. When you reach this problem, think about what you want to get out of the relationship. If you don’t think this person will be beneficial in your work life, feel free to respond with a kind email similar to I’m Swamped. If, however, you want to get to know this person better, invite her to coffee and go over the task. You might find a helpful relationship for the both of you.

— Adapted from “3 Kinds of People Who Will Take Advantage of You at Work—and How to Respond to Each One,” Richard Moy, The Muse.

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