1. You are consistently expected to work extended hours
If you are an hourly employee, and you are working extra hours but not being compensated for them, then it’s easy to tell that your boss is taking advantage of you. However, the ability to discern what is fair when you are a salaried employee is more difficult. You will be expected to work longer hours sometimes, especially when your department or team is working on a very important project.
But if you are consistently being required to work many more hours than you traditionally have with no extra pay, your boss might be taking advantage of you. Many employees also bring work home, but again, if you are constantly working, then you need to consider what to do next.
2. You’re doing two or more jobs
Job duties and requirements change, so you can’t expect that your job will only entail the duties listed when you originally applied. However, if your company recently laid off another employee (or someone else left), and you are now responsible for doing your job plus theirs, there is a good chance that your boss or the company are taking advantage of you. If your boss believe that you will consistently do someone else’s work (with no end in sight), they have little reason to hire anyone new, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
3. Your boss expects you to be friends with coworkers
While it’s important to get along with your coworkers, and be able to work together on projects, there is no need for you to be chummy with your coworkers or your boss. If your boss puts too much pressure on you and your coworkers to get close, that is one clear sign that your boss is putting too much emphasis on friendship.
Bosses should also never try to force employees to attend social events outside of work. Holiday parties, dinners, and work events, are supposed to be fun, but they shouldn’t be required (or even strongly suggested).
4. You’re never appreciated
Some bosses offer more verbal praise than others, and that’s completely understandable. However, if your boss constantly lays on the work, and never gives you any positive feedback, this can still be a way for your boss to take advantage of you.
5. Your boss doesn’t follow through
From planning to meet with you to discuss your pay, to failing to update you on important information about a new client or project, to ignoring your requests for time off or other requests, there are many ways that bosses don’t come through. Bosses are human, so sometimes they will mess up just like the rest of us. However, if your boss consistently promises something, but never delivers, you are definitely being taken advantage of, even if it isn’t deliberate.