How to Get Your Boss to Stop Taking You For Granted

No one likes to be taken for granted. Unless, of course, you have an extremely low self-esteem and enjoy having people walk all over you. Then that’s a different story all together! You know how small you feel when your boss overlooks your hard work and achievements and thinks you’re only good for getting his morning coffee. Maybe you are extremely overworked and your boss doesn’t even realize that he’s piling too many tasks on your mountainous work load. You may not realize it, but you can very well be contributing to the way your boss takes you for granted. Maybe you don’t want to hear that, but it’s a real possibility.

See Also: How to Effectively Work for a Micromanaging Boss

When your boss commands, you immediately jump and say how high? Even if he’s telling you to jump off a cliff. Ok, so that may be a drastic example, but you get the idea. Your self-confidence level may be extremely low and you’ve let your boss walk all over you. In a nutshell, you’ve failed to demonstrate your true value. That’s because your boss takes advantage of your skills. There is hope for your situation. Don’t give up. Consider the following three ways to get your boss to stop taking you for granted.

1. Become Less Available

too busy

So this may sound counterintuitive, but you need to become less available. Of course, there is a fine line. Don’t cross over it by taking this to the extreme and start slacking off in the workplace and never being available for your boss. That is not the point. Being too available means that you are the “yes man” and take on too much responsibility. Whenever your boss tells you to do something, you immediately spring into action. That’s good. Yet, jumping when he calls every single minute of the day will make your boss begin to take you for granted. He’ll begin to think that you will always be there, ready, willing and able to serve him.

You only facilitate this perception by catering to his every need and bringing him his coffee before he even asks for it. He’s come to assume that you’ll have his favorite specialty coffee drink ready as soon as he comes to the office, without a word from him. The hard part is that once you’ve started this coddling behavior with your boss, it can be difficult to break him of depending on you too much. Stop bringing his morning coffee. Test the waters. See what happens. Maybe he’ll growl like a beast and get angry. Maybe he won’t care. You might find that he’ll accept the new boundary lines and know that he can’t walk all over you. Sure, he may then start asking you to get his coffee. Just don’t jump up immediately. Make him wait for it. Ok, do that within reason too. After all, you don’t want him to trump up some charges of insubordination and fire you all because of his coffee!

Of course, the coffee example is only one facet of how you could be catering to your boss. Maybe you’re simply trying too hard to impress him—you’ve done such a good job at everything—and he has started to take you for granted. No one is advocating that you start acting like an idiot and screwing up at work. Just stop working at hyper speed. Tone down your work performance to a normal speed. Unless your boss is completely blind and self-absorbed, you should soon see results. He’ll start missing you and stop taking you for granted.  

2. Become More Assertive

Ok, so you may have screwed things up for yourself by being too timid. Your boss has taken you for granted because you’ve never surprised him by speaking up. Maybe your boss likes it that you don’t speak up. Yet that’s not a healthy situation for you. Again, don’t start jumping on top of your desk, screaming at the top of your lungs that your boss is a loser and takes advantage of you. Definitely not a good idea—especially when you find yourself dragged from your desk kicking and screaming by two security guards. One was not enough to control your ranting and raving!

Obviously, there’s a right way to become more assertive. Hopefully, if you can stand up for yourself in a positive and professional way, your boss will stop taking you for granted. Start by learning how to voice your opinion. Let your boss see that you actually have a brain and aren’t simply a robot that comes to the office to work mindlessly. When you are overworked with a project and your boss takes it for granted that you are going to stay overtime every day that week, take a stand.

So if he’s doing the same thing to everyone and it’s expected of the entire company, you may not be able to speak your mind without getting fired. If you’re the only one in your department that is repeatedly expected to stay late to finish work, you have conclusive evidence that your boss is taking you for granted. Take a stand—unless of course, you enjoy working in the quiet atmosphere, all alone in that empty office building. Just watch out for scary things that lurk around in the night hours! Who cares about leaving work on time to actually have a social life or just relax at home watching TV!  

3. Demonstrate Your Value

Do you think you’re valuable? Maybe you’ve been working like a dog and don’t realize how valuable you are to your boss. If you don’t know it, chances are that she doesn’t know it either. Guess what? That likely means that your boss is taking you for granted. Nothing’s going to change unless you start to demonstrate your value to your boss. You may need to get in her face. Just not in the way you think. It’s never ok to storm into her office and aggressively state your point that she’s taking you for granted and you should be more valued. Hmm, that tactic will probably have her laughing first, then crying and then having you escorted from the premises.

Getting in your boss’s face the right way means that you stay professional and always act mature. Reign in your emotions. After all, you want to demonstrate that you’re valuable and not a liability. You’re trying to get your boss to stop taking you for granted. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should go to your boss’s office and maturely give her a dissertation on 10 reasons why you are an asset to the company. No way! The word is to demonstrate your value. That means you need to actually do something, behave a certain way and perform to your best ability.

So maybe you were actually doing those things already. However, your boss wasn’t noticing you, your abilities or work performance. By not noticing you, over time, she grew to start taking you for granted. She knew you did your work and never caused trouble. Yet, she stopped realizing how truly special you were as an employee. She didn’t value you anymore. For all she knew, you could’ve handed in your resignation letter weeks ago and she’d have been blindsided. All this time, she’d taken for granted that you’d stick it out with the company for the long haul and never want to take on a new and challenging opportunity.

Keep working to the best of your ability. Just find ways to get your boss to notice your true value. Start owning your job and being more proud of your work. Ask to be assigned to high-profile projects where your boss has more of a managerial role. When she sees your excellent work on the project, that can open her eyes to how valuable you are as an employee.

See Also: How to Work for a Perfectionist Boss

If you’ve ever been taken for granted by your boss it’s not a fun situation. Sometimes it can be difficult to get out of bed each morning to come to work because you hate working for a boss who doesn’t even know your name or what your professional goals are. You can impact the situation in a positive way. Just stop being available all the time. Learn how to speak your mind and show your boss how valuable you are.

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Have you ever been taken advantage of by your boss? Let us know in the comments section below.


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