Recently I came to the realization that going above and beyond can have a serious backlash. A couple of years ago, the staffing in our office were cut short severely; mainly because of retirements. So I decided to step up to the plate and really prove myself as a worker and even a leader. Mind you I was already a productive worker and management was aware. I just wanted to take it to the next level. I went all out, attending meetings, staying late, volunteering to take projects no one else wanted to touch and so forth. Before I knew it, I became the go-to person of the office. Whatever management needed at the drop of a dime, they knew who to go to. I never failed to disappoint. As time went by this new go-to role grew. The work increased – everything increased….except for the pay. Naturally I started wondering when something would happen to compensate me for the hard work I was putting in. I eventually started asking questions and got round about answers. There was of course talk of budget constraints and hands being tied to do anything for me. After a while the lines started to get old. I had to face it – I had been hustled, bamboozled, played, you name it.
I was pissed.
But then I had to really analyze myself and the situation. Why did I work so hard? Why did I put in all those hours (no overtime pay by the way)? Why did I really volunteer for the projects? Well of course I was looking into advancing my career, so I took on more work to prove myself to management. You see, the “plan” was that they would recognize what I was doing, speak up for me and then I would get promoted. Yeah, it didn’t work out that way at all. So I was left completely exhausted, hardly motivated and extremely disappointed. Why couldn’t anyone look out for me? I wondered if all my hard work had gone in vain.
Fortunately, new opportunities have opened up for me that include advance for me and my career (Yay!). So I am moving forward on good terms with lessons learned. The next time I go above and beyond, it will be for the right reasons because I am a mission-oriented person and I have to show that before any skill or project is displayed.
Questions still remain thought. I wonder why things played out the way they did. Is it because I had selfish purposes? Or was it just not meant to be?
I would love some insight!