Our experiences in the workplace can often reveal surprising truths about ourselves and the world around us. Among the many lessons I’ve gleaned from my work, the development of certain non-technical skills stands out as particularly unexpected and valuable.
A user recently asked in a popular forum, “What has employment taught you?” and here are the top picks:
1. Hard Work Attracts More Work
The reality that many people experience in their jobs is that the more effort they put in, the more is expected of them. “The reward for hard work is more work!” said one. “The reward for hard work is seeing your boss get rewarded for your hard work.” said one.
“The speech at the cheap pizza party your boss throws for record-breaking profits begins with “We all did great this year, but…” another added.
2. When Good Ideas Gets Stolen
While sharing ideas and collaborating with colleagues is essential, bringing an excellent notion to management can be risky. They may feel threatened or resentful, or they may take credit for the idea without giving proper recognition.
“Never bring a good idea to ‘management.’ Your efforts will get resented or stolen, probably both.” said one. “Or you’ll be put in charge of implementing it for no extra pay.” another added. “I had a manager claim ownership of my idea in a meeting I was invited to.” said another.
3. The Curse Of Competency
The curse of competency refers to the tendency of capable employees to be assigned more work without additional compensation, leading to burnout and job dissatisfaction.
“I call it the ‘Curse of Competency,’ and I warn every new employee not to be too good at anything unless they want to do way more of it than they have to for no extra money.” a Redditor said.
“I burnt out from my last job. My team was basically in charge of putting out fires, and we did it so well they kept dumping more and more stuff on us.” another added.
4. Incompetency + Nepotism = Management Material
When incompetence is combined with nepotism, unqualified individuals may be promoted to management positions based on personal relationships rather than merit.
“Moving up in most fields isn’t about what you know; it’s who you know. Nothing demotivates a person faster than doing the job when a position is vacant to keep things running and the boss brings in someone they know to fill the role. And that person doesn’t know how to do a damned thing at the job. And then they ask you to train them how to do it.”
5. Excelling At Your Job Can Hinder Your Advancement
“Being good at your job doesn’t necessarily mean getting promoted, and you’ll become too valuable to promote if you do your job well. Those who get promoted can do their jobs, but more importantly, are vocal and able to get their work recognized.” said one.
6. The Fallacy Of Being A ‘Family’ In The Workplace
The notion that companies are a “family” can be deceptive, creating a false sense of security. Businesses are profit-driven entities that may resort to layoffs and other harsh measures to protect their bottom line.
“The fallacy that businesses want us to believe that “we’re a family.” Yeah, we’re family until you get laid off, and you’re escorted out by security like a criminal.” said one.
“You’re family in the sense that everyone gets exploited for free labor and not expected to complain because of “family.” another said.
7. The Importance Of Looking Out For Yourself
“You have to look out for yourself above anybody else because if you don’t look out for yourself, nobody will.” a user said.
8. The Illusion Of Productivity
In many workplaces, it’s not enough to simply work hard and produce results. Instead, there is often an emphasis on appearing busy and vocalizing accomplishments to be recognized and valued by colleagues and employers.
“How hard you APPEAR to be working is way more important than how hard you work. If you’re not loud and boastful, people will assume you’re not doing anything.” said one. “It’s all about appearances.” another added.
9. Balancing Personal Excellence With Team Dynamics
“I was considered superior to my coworkers, who deliberately and maliciously sabotaged me. Twice. Do not go all out to impress your leaders, it makes everyone else look bad, and they will get you fired for it.” a Redditor said.
10. Balancing Efficiency And Teamwork
“Efficient workers also get everyone else punished with more work/ ratcheting performance standards.” a user said.
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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.