There is at least one ‘skivvy’ in every office environment – if you don’t know who the office skivvy in your workplace is, then it's most probably you! An office skivvy is essentially the ‘go-to’ person that every other employee uses to pass on jobs that they don’t want to do themselves!
What makes you the office skivvy?
Personality - Your personality is probably ‘too nice’; yes this is possible! The nicer you are the easier it is for others to take advantage of you and pass over jobs, responsibilities and deadlines that they cannot do themselves.
Your attitude – If you automatically accept that you are the office skivvy then you cannot expect others to think any different either.
Your image – Your job title may give you status but if your image sells you short, you can assume that others will view you this way too.
How to assert yourself at work…
The first thing to remember is that the way you act is how you will be perceived and treated by your colleagues and management at work. If you believe others are not respecting you as a person and colleague, then it is time to do something about it.
#1 Start as you mean to go on!
First thing Monday morning, you need to walk into the office with a new outlook; be positive, be assertive and plan your day strategically so you know exactly what you are doing throughout the day.
#2 When given a menial job by a colleague, say no
As soon as your colleagues try to pass off their boring and menial jobs onto you, make a stand! State that you have no time and the task does not fall under your remit or responsibility.
#3 Speak with authority
If you try to make a stand and have a weak or trembling voice, you will get nowhere. You need to speak with authority, lower the tone of your voice and speak calmly yet forcefully.
#4 Speak up
You are probably thought of as someone who will never stand up for themselves, and so it is vital that you speak up and inform your line manager if colleagues continue to drop all their jobs onto your desk. As soon as you speak up, they will take notice!
#5 Be clear and concise
Do not go backwards – this means that once you have begun to assert yourself at work, you must keep up the attitude if you want to be taken seriously. State what you are willing and unwilling to do, reaffirm what your responsibilities are in your employment contract and state exactly why you will not be doing other people’s work for them anymore. The more clear and concise you are, the more likely people will pay attention to what you have to day.
#6 Body language is vital
If you look a quivering wreck, people will assume you are a push over and can be bossed around. Be sure to stand tall, keep up head up, don’t hunch your shoulders and walk with confidence.
#7 Prevent interruptions
Never allow a co-worker to interrupt or speak over you. This is a sign of disrespect and it should not be tolerated. As soon as someone tries to interrupt the point you are making, simply raise your voice slightly and continue speaking. There is no need to shout or cause a scene, but if the co-worker continues to speak over you, raise your hand slightly to show that you have not finished speaking.
#8 Treat others how you want to be treated
It is important that you set the tone of how you and your co-workers should treat one another. Treat others with respect and this will hopefully encourage them to do the same towards you.