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Being Too Good At Your Job Is Dangerous, Studies Say

Overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated? Read this
by Khatrina Bonagua | Jun 6, 2016
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The struggle is definitely real for those who hustle hard.

A study from Duke's Fuqua School of Business says that people with high self-control—people who usually remember birthdays, choose the salad instead of the fries, take on extra projects at work, and resolve conflicts easily—might actually pay a price for those virtues.

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High self-control people, the researchers found, end up burdened by their own competence. Why? Because the more self-control people exhibited, the more people expected of them, the study says. They are assigned more projects, given harder tasks, and pressured more than the average employee.

If you’re a self-proclaimed corporate slave with high self-control, we feel you, and we do not want you to be burdened by your competence. So let FHM help you say goodbye to burnout with these easy ways to ease office stress:

Learn how to say NO

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Since people expect more of you, just like what the study suggests, it’s best knowing when to say “no.” “No” may seem like a powerfully intimidating two letter word, but for such a tiny word, "no" is profoundly liberating.

Saying “no” shows that you have a vision and an opinion. It doesn’t mean that you are a lazy bastard for declining a task; it just means that you know that you have other important deadlines that you have to focus on. Always pleasing your boss or your colleagues is unfair for yourself. Imagine all those unpaid overtime hours while your officemates are out there drinking their hearts out…


Express how you feel about things

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When you feel that your employer is taking advantage of you, don’t be afraid to speak out. “Tasks are just as effortful for high self-control people,” Christy Zhou Koval, first author on the study, explains. “It's just that they're better at them.”

Juggling too many tasks that are not even a part of your job’s description? Ask for a raise. If you're being asked to work more hours or do more work, a more effective way of drawing the line is to ask the employer to raise your salary to correspond with your increased workload. Show him the list of the tasks you've taken on to give him some concrete examples of the work you're doing. Even though receiving a raise isn't guaranteed, at least you have opened a line of communication with your employer.

Make them realize your worth

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Given that you’re the productive employee, it’s understandable that you want to feel appreciated (not just moneywise). Some bosses offer more verbal praise than others, however, if your boss never gives you any positive feedback, do not be shy to ask for it. Ask him if you’re doing the assigned task correctly, and what can be improved. You don’t need to be thanked for everything you do, but some respect for your hard work is necessary—and will definitely not leave you burnt out.


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