I was hired by my present company more than two years ago. Because I’m hard-working, technically competent and I always get all my tasks done before the deadlines set, my boss praises me no end. The problem is he keeps giving me additional responsibilities which are not within my job description, yet, I don’t get performance bonus or merit increase. I don’t know if my boss will recommend me for promotion. Sometimes I feel I’m being “punished” for being efficient and am tempted to slow down especially since my fellow employees think I want to be the “bida”. I don’t know what to do; this is why I’m writing you for advice.
You are disappointed that, for all your efficiency, you are not getting any performance bonus nor merit increase. You are not also told of your promotability. On top of this, your co-employees ridicule you for wanting to play hero. You don’t seem to appreciate the positive feedback your boss gives you and don’t see that being given additional responsibilities is a sign of recognition.
What is your career goal, i.e., what do you want to be in, say, five years? You talk about promotion in your company. What position in your company do you see yourself occupying in five years’ time? Will this position involve doing work that is of interest to you, will use your skills and talents, and enable you to bring out and develop your potentials? Getting a higher pay is one of the consequences of promotion to a higher position; performance bonus and/or merit increase are rewards for exceeding performance targets, and don’t require promotion.
Your boss is not punishing you by giving you additional tasks. He is testing your abilities if you are ready for promotion to a higher position. He can not tell you that he will be recommending you for a higher position because it might raise certain expectations that may not be fulfilled. Being given more responsibilities is a sign that he is recognizing your abilities to do more. Remember the parable of Jesus regarding three servants entrusted by their master with the latter’s possessions, the amount given depended on their abilities (Matthew 25:14-30). When the master returned after a long journey, he called his three servants to give an accounting of the talents entrusted to each of them. Two servants who were entrusted with five and two talents, respectively, traded them so they doubled the talents given them. The master did two things: he commended them and gave them more responsibilities. The third servant, who had been given only one talent, hid it because he was afraid that his master, whom he perceived to be a demanding person, harvesting where he did not scatter, would berate him. That was exactly what the master did: not only did the master scold and punish him; he had the one talent taken away from him and given to the servant who had 10 talents. Jesus concluded the parable by saying: “For everyone who has, more will be given; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
I hope you will change your mindset that being given additional tasks is a “punishment”; rather see it as a sign of recognition and your boss’ way of determining how much and how far you can go. He is also observing your attitudes towards being given additional responsibilities. Do you accept these additional responsibilities cheerfully, or do you whine and complain which you seem to be doing now.
Since your boss obviously likes you, I suggest you go to him/her and ask about your chances for promotion and by when. Let me tell you that most companies have two kinds of career paths: the management path and the professional/technical path. The management path is for those with leadership abilities and potentials. As they advance in their career, they are given greater and more responsibilities with people under them whom they develop so that the tasks they accomplish contribute to the achievement of goals and objectives. As they get up the corporate ladder, these managers perform less and less of the technical tasks they had enjoyed doing as they focus on the “bigger picture” by achieving strategic goals and objectives.
The professional/technical path is for those who are very competent in doing the tasks related to a certain function (e.g., finance, marketing and sales, IT, production, quality assurance, etc.) but do not have the abilities to lead people. They rise in their profession thru increasing levels and complexities of competencies.
Unfortunately, those companies, which do not have a dual career path, give recognition to the technically competent people by putting them in the management path, thereby promoting them to a level of incompetence. These managers have poor people skills. They either avoid interacting with their employees, as they enjoy doing the work of their subordinates. Or they are abrasive in the way they deal or aggressive in the way they communicate with their employees. So I advice you to determine, perhaps with your boss’ coaching, if you are inclined to a management or to a professional/career path. Ask him/her advice on what you need to do to be in the right path.
As for your co-employees’ ridicule of you, perceiving you as wanting to be “bida”, I suggest you just ignore it. Be kind to them and help them if they need your help. In time, they will change their mindset towards you. Who knows, you might be their boss in the future if the management path is for you.