As part of our contracted obligations in a career, we have to take direction from those who manage us. This is simply what we sign on for when we agree to become an employee. If we fail to fulfill those responsibilities, to meet targets, and to improve where possible, we have failed our side of the contract.
As such, many companies arrange performance reviews to see how you’re getting on, if you’re a good fit, and if feedback can be given from both parties. This is natural and normal, and if engaged with properly, gives you the chance to grow and develop a good career.
However, you are not a robot or automaton that must say yes at every opportunity without thought. For example, you deserve to be treated with respect, and cared for within that organization. Moreover, you also have the right to decline certain impressed obligations if you feel them to be out of the range of your contract.
For example – if a manager asks you to perform a dangerous task without the right safety equipment, you’re more than within your right to deny them. However, even if you’re not “in the right” contractually, you may be so morally, or even from a personal perspective, provided you’re willing to accept the consequences for your career with that firm. They cannot force you to do anything.
For this reason, it’s important to learn how and when to say no, so that when you need to say it, you’ll be able to. If you have a pushy and overbearing boss, it’s also good to know where to exercise this, so you don’t do so out of emotion, bitterness, or to be difficult, which may only work against you.
Understand The Exact Obligations You Have
It’s much easier to say know when you know the exact terms you’re operating within. That might sound obvious, but it’s true – you can stand up for yourself more easily when you know you’re backed by your contract. For instance, if you only have to work a certain number of hours a week, and you’re already known to do overtime where needed, being asked in for an additional week, saying no because of prior engagements, and moving on can be a rational response, knowing that any repercussions that come your way can be actively disputed.
You Get To Stand Up For Yourself As A Human, Too
It’s very easy to feel like you shouldn’t rock the boat when your career is in someone elses’ hands, but that doesn’t mean you deserve to be mistreated, nor that you should allow it. If you’re called names, humiliated in front of others, threatened, or belittled, make a note of this. If you’re harassed, immediately seek help from your HR department. Complain about this as quickly and professionally as you can. Be resilient, but don’t let that kind of disrespect go. If left to fester, it will surely increase in both intensity and frequency. You get to stand for yourself as a human first, not just an employee.
Litigate If You Need To
In some cases, poor safety planning, pushing you into difficult scenarios, or not giving you the provisions you need (especially if this caused harm), may open the pathway to litigation. For example, using a lawyer for a truck accident if you’ve been given a faulty truck and have suffered a difficulty on the road could grant you the compensation you need, or at the very least help you remove culpability for the incident and put this issue behind you. Litigation may also take the form of raising complaints, like unfair dismissal, to an employment tribunal or the equivalent of one in your country. With solid documentation and recorded communications to present, you can stand firm as you try to prosecute your case.
Don’t Become Adversarial
It’s important to note that all of the advice we’ve given is for self-defense purposes. It’s important not to become difficult with a certain manager, rather to work with them as well as they’ll work with you. It’s essential to be cooperative where you can be, and know where your boundaries lie.
This way, no one could accuse you of adding fuel to the fire, trying to cause problems with certain projects, or actively dismantling the relationship. As hard as it sounds, it’s important to let your professional self take over, and ensure a difficult boss isn’t someone you try to actively undercut every second of the day. This way, you can avoid issues from reflecting back at you, and your word will become much more valuable. It will also help you avoid making decisions you regret.
With this advice, we hope you’ve gained some insight despite this difficult topic. At the end of the day, you deserve to feel satisfied in your role as anyone else does.
How have you dealt with a pushy, overbearing boss? Let me know in the comments below!