How to Talk to Your Boss About Their Unrealistic Job Expectations
Whether it’s your first day or you’ve got years of experience under your belt, unrealistic expectations can crop up in the workplace.
But what exactly are they? And what do you do if you find that your employer is setting you with unrealistic expectations? Down below is a guide to get you started.
1. Perfect Skill Set
This is seen especially in entry level positions. Companies want you to have everything while refusing to train you, even though more experienced candidates may not be qualified for the specific position either.
It may seem like the entire job market is like this, but that isn’t always the case. In reality, this type of process is harmful to the company as well as yourself, even if it may not seem so at face value.
2. Too much work
This one is simple enough. Your workload is just way too high, to the point where you’re working overtime or you just stressed out beyond belief. This also applies if the projects assigned to you are something that are beyond your skill set.
3. Tight deadlines
A bit of an extension to the previous point. If you don’t have enough time to finish your projects to a satisfactory degree, that is undoubtedly an unrealistic expectation on your employer’s part. Once you’re basically being forced to live and breathe work, then it’s time to look for an alternative here.
However, before you decide to take this any further, reflect a bit more.
Is it really too much effort, or is it just beyond your comfort zone? Sometimes, your employer wants to challenge you, to see if you’re actually a good worker.
If you get through it, perhaps there will be a promotion on the other side. However, it is definitely not worth it if this is harming you in the long run. Once you’ve exhausted all your options – sucking it up, consulting your coworkers, etc – it’s time to get down to business.
“My employer is setting me up with unrealistic job expectations. What do I do?”
The main course of action is to talk to human resources or your manager about your issues. However, before you do that, make sure you figure out what you’re going to say.
Compiling all the assignments you have to do and the deadlines attached to them is a good start, though you should also consider planning out your arguments.
You can say that you will be more productive if you’re given more flexibility, for example. Also, figure out what you specifically want to achieve. Do you want your deadline to be extended? A different assignment?
Work out some phrases that will get to your boss. For example, if your boss is constantly e-mailing you tasks to do during your weekends or time-off in general, you can say:
“I’m sorry, but I’ll have to do this later/get someone else to do it in since I need this time to rest and maintain my general wellbeing.”
Above all, make sure that this is a professional conversation. Don’t treat this as an opportunity to rant and complain; you’re less likely to be taken seriously this way.
It’s not an easy conversation to have, but don’t feel like you’re doing anything wrong by doing so!
As long as you get it in early, long before any assignment due date, your boss is likely to be reasonable. On the other hand, if they aren’t so reasonable…
“I’ve talked to my boss and still nothing. What do I do now?”
If your employer refuses to listen to your complaints or doesn’t take any action regarding it, then perhaps you should consider a new job search.
It’s not ideal, but unfortunately, some employers are not always considerate of their employees’ needs.
Also, why would you want to stay in a job where you’re constantly miserable? Try looking on the bright side; this could be the opportunity that will lead you to your dream job.
If you do decide to resign from your job, here’s a helpful guide to get you started.
Of course, this is a last resort and one that is not used very often in this situation.
Most managers are understanding if you argue your case well. The main takeaway here is that you don’t have to put up with your employer’s unrealistic job expectations.
There is always an alternative. You just have to figure out which option is the right one for you.
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