Your company hired you to fulfill a role necessary for the operation of the business and to reach strategic goals. While it is important for you to meet the standards of your job, you shouldn’t be taken advantage of. The company is supposed to be ethical and professional but the reality is that this doesn’t always happen. Your job might be pimping your gifts! Before you march into your manager’s office to tell them all about themselves, let’s make sure this is actually happening.
Your job might be pimping your gifts if…
You can’t share your expertise. Having the opportunity to share your ideas to bring your past experience and skills to the present is the simplest way your company can allow you to share your expertise. If you’re not at least able to add to the conversation, then you will be shut off from contributing towards the company’s growth – which ultimately can stunt your own.
But give them the benefit of the doubt... Are the meetings you’ve attended or the goals your team is responsible for centered on a topic you don’t have expertise in currently? If the current landscape of your company isn’t focused on your expertise right now, then partner with your manager on finding opportunities where you can help the team achieve their goals through your gifts, skills, and talents.
There’s zero professional development. The typical professional development offerings at a company can include:
Discounts for professional association membership
Opportunity to form or join Special Interest Groups/task teams
Discounts for Continuing Education
Increasing responsibilities that are aligned with your goals
Access to industry resources
Stipend or credit towards acquiring another degree
Can you find evidence of any of these options at your job? If not, it is possible that the company just wants you to focus on what you can do for them - nothing more.
But give them the benefit of the doubt… Do you know if this has been discussed in the past? Do you know if this existed before but only few employees took advantage of it? Be sure you have a clear answer to these questions before you come to a conclusion.
You only receive a cost of living increase. Think back to the discussions after your reviews. If you have received relatively positive reviews, did you receive a raise or bonus outside of the cost of living increase? If not, was there an explanation related to performance? When you see that there is no valid clarification as to why you aren’t being compensated for your time and talent, then you can assume that the company only values you at the salary they hired you for.
But give them the benefit of the doubt… Did you make your case for the reason why you should receive a raise? You need to drive the conversation with your manager about why you deserve one. Negotiate your salary by discussing how your skills and achievements have helped the team or company exceed their overall goals.
Your goals are only submitted as part of company procedure. Have you ever made progress on the goals you outlined with your manager with their encouragement and support? I have personally witnessed and experienced managers pressing employees to complete their annual goals with no plan of action for achievement or recognition. If you notice that your annual goals are just a task you have to complete instead of milestone that you’re aspiring to, then this is another indicator that your company isn’t focused on professional development.
But give them the benefit of the doubt… You need to discuss your concerns and the expectations of these goals with your manager. Schedule consistent follow-up meetings with your manager to discuss your suggestions and progress you’ve made thus far. If the cycle repeats after the performance review, then you know that change is unlikely.
There’s minimal appreciation. The easiest form of appreciation that your manager can show you is to simply say, “Thank You.” This expresses that they value you and appreciate the work you do on the team. Other ways employers show appreciation are:
Genuinely getting to know the team
Giving small gifts
Creating or supporting fun traditions on the team
Public recognition of a job well done
Gifts or awards employees can use outside of the office
Staff appreciation events
If you can’t identify any of the gestures listed above, then your company does not actively appreciate their employees.
But give them the benefit of the doubt… Does the company offer incentives or appreciation that just doesn’t connect with your values? It is possible your company/manager provides appreciation but you don’t think it’s worthwhile or enough. Talk to your manager, HR, or social committee about other ideas of how the company can express appreciation. Be prepared, they might ask you to lead this effort.
REMEMBER THOUGH, your growth and progress is still your responsibility! We don’t get to complain and blame our companies for our lack of growth if we haven’t first taken accountability within ourselves.
If you noted that your company is pimping your gift through any of these violations, then definitely consider your next career move. This list can also serve as a checklist for what to look for at your new company.
Do you know anyone who is experiencing this right now? Share this blog to let them know they are not alone!