You’re in a 1:1 with your boss and you get yet another big assignment. Later that day, an email comes in and there’s more work for you to do. You’re working far beyond normal work day hours but you look around and don’t feel like your co-workers are doing the same. What’s going on?
Feeling like your boss is giving you more than workers can be frustrating and unfair. However, it can also mean a good thing long term for you in your career.
This article is going to dive into common reasons why your boss might be giving you more work than others on your team. It also offers recommendations for what to do if you’re in that situation.
All of the recommendations and content below is sourced from career experts who offer credible recommendations on how to handle the situation.
Let’s dive in.
Why Is My Boss Giving Me More Work Than Others?
All of our career experts basically gave similar answers to what Matt Erhard, Managing Partner of Summit Search Group, provided below:
“There can be a variety of reasons for this, but by and large I would say that it’s a compliment. I typically will give extra work to the employees that I’m confident can handle it without their work quality suffering. This means the people I see as the most competent and dependable within the organization.
Another common reason this might happen is if you’re the only one who has a given set of skills, or the one who typically completes that type of task the best. I have also seen bosses do this to test whether an employee is ready for a promotion and the added responsibility that it will bring.”
In general, our experts seemed to think that getting more work than your co-workers often means that your boss perceives you as being more competent than your peers and trusts you to get the job done more than others. It could also be a reflection of your unique skillset on the team and your ability to complete tasks that others simply cannot.
What to Do if Your Boss Is Giving Your More Work Than Others?
As far as how to handle a situation where your boss is giving you more than others, there were a bit more varied and nuanced perspectives from our career experts. Here are what a couple of them had to say:
“Firstly, don’t panic. Start by evaluating why this might be happening. Are you completing tasks more quickly? Demonstrating higher efficiency? Or is there a lack of balance in the workload distribution?
In my experience leading a team, communication is key. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to have an honest and open conversation with your boss. Explain how you feel, ask for clarity on their expectations, and if needed, set boundaries.
I remember a valuable lesson from a team member who felt inundated with tasks. Instead of suffering in silence, they came to me, we discussed the situation, and together we found a balanced workload that fit their capabilities and growth goals.
Remember, a conversation can lead to understanding, better delegation, and a more harmonious working environment. It could be the gateway to your next big leap in your career.
Brenden Brown, Founder, The Expert Editor.
“I wouldn’t recommend complaining about getting assigned more work than your coworkers as long as you’re able to get it done within your official timings. However, if your workload is affecting your personal life, you can set a meeting to discuss which assignments you can de-prioritize for the time being, or request your boss to assign another coworker to help you with your tasks.
Instead of comparing your workload with your colleagues, keep the conversation about yourself and your own capacity. Let your boss know how overworking might compromise the quality of your deliverables and make yourself come across as an employee who is eager to give their best but cannot possibly do everything at once.
Pinpointing a fellow worker who is comparatively free while you bear the burden of several assignments is not something I would suggest. Many bosses might take it as criticism of their managerial style and become offended, and you may also come across as a complainer. It’s essential to act maturely and approach the subject with a polite and sincere attitude.”
Anjela Mangrum, President, Mangrum Career Solutions
While it might feel unfair for your boss to give you more work than your coworkers, it can also be a good sign that you’re perceived to be doing a good job.
Ultimately, if your workload becomes an issue that starts impacting your personal life, you’ll need to have a conversation with your boss.
If it’s not, then keep putting out quality work at a high volume and use that to accelerate your career.