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pushover at work

Source: FatCamera / Getty

The office is a very interesting ecosystem. It isn’t quite natural. It’s not like within friendships, where you can speak up without fear of losing your livelihood. You can tell a friend you don’t like what she did and the most that can happen is that she’ll argue with you. In the workplace, since one’s career is always on the line, most comments, feedback, and questions have to go through a tremendous amount of filters before they actually come out of one’s mouth. Then there are all of the personalities at play. Sure, someone’s actual job title may be this or that but they may find ways to step out of that—either above it or below it—all of the time by being pushy, manipulative, passive aggressive, and then some. You don’t get to just respond to someone’s work—you must respond to their personality, too. It can be a tricky place for someone who is nice and being nice can quickly turn into being the office pushover. Here are ways to prevent that from happening, or reverse it if it already has.


Don’t do another person’s task

You have your job description and everyone else has theirs. Sometimes, a unique task comes up and it’s not exactly clear whose job that would be. But, when someone asks you to do something that is not in your job description and is in hers, don’t do it. She may say she’s swamped or you’re better at it. But you’re swamped too, aren’t you? And shouldn’t she get better at it herself if it’s her job?

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