Do I Have to Do Everything That's Asked of Me at Work

Reply Mon 27 Nov, 2023 02:53 pm
I've been in my current position (marketing) for over 9 years now. I like the job and the people I work with. Lately, though, my boss has started asking me to do things that, in my opinion, I don't have the time for, the skillset for, nor the pay rate for. Example: I was hired for my graphic design experience to create marketing pieces, design logos, and maintain a couple of WordPress websites. These responsibilities keep me busy for 40+ hours a week.

A couple of years ago we hired an independent company to get our social media presence established. They have a team of six working on everything from SEO to Google/Bing advertising to posting on four popular social media platforms. My boss is now asking me to "hold them accountable" and make sure everything they're doing is the best it can be. I've never done any of this before and feel like it would require lengthy training (I've been looking into it). In order to properly hold them accountable, I feel as though I'd need to know more than they do.

Another example is with the websites. I know my way around WordPress, but I don't know how to code in CSS (or anything else for that matter). He's now asking me for fancy behaviors that would require a skilled, experienced coder.

When I tell him I can't do "X" his response is always the same: "Take a class," or "Figure it out." Honestly, if I learned everything he wants me to know and did everything he wants me to do, I'd be working 80 hour weeks. There's a reason companies have TEAMS and DEPARTMENTS; because one person can't do it all. If I had those skills I certainly wouldn't keep working here for the salary I'm making, but I don't want to leave and have to start all over again somewhere new.

I know they want me to do all this new stuff because they want to stop paying the company we hired, but I've already been told there's no money in the budget for raises and asking for one could send me to the front of the line if/when layoffs ever come up. I haven't had a raise in 9 years but I have survived two rounds of layoffs.

I know the answer is to find another job, but I really like what I (currently) do and it's close to home. The salary isn't great but it pays my bills. I've also had more than my fair share of atrocious jobs and don't want to land in another that's potentially worse than this. Oh, and I'm 54 so finding another position wouldn't be that easy.

Is it unreasonable to tell my boss I don't want to be a graphic designer AND a coder AND an SEO specialist AND on social media? Honestly I don't see how asking that of someone could be anything but a recipe for disaster.

Advice, please!
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Reply Mon 27 Nov, 2023 05:53 pm
You're being exploited.

You need to start pushing back.

Why? Because this guy is trying to save $$ on your back. Something's got to give.

Go to Salary.com and look up the wages for every hat he's tried to ask you to wear. For example, this is SEO Technical Specialist I - https://www.salary.com/tools/salary-calculator/seo-technical-specialist-i It may or may not apply to what you're being asked to do.

Gather all this stuff together and, the next time he asks you to do more, show it to him and tell him that you appreciate his confidence in your talent and abilities. And then, ask for a raise.

He can do one of three things, far as I can tell:
  1. Ignore your request and not bring it up again
  2. Give you a raise—but then you'll be obligated to deliver or
  3. Let you go
The last one is the least likely because he clearly needs you. And if does let you go (which would be stupid on his part), you're an experienced designer and can likely get better work elsewhere, probably from home or at least on a hybrid schedule, so the location of the work will be less of an issue.

I would also, regardless of how this talk turns out, advise you to look for another gig. Even if everything is peachy, this is a major cost-cutting measure that he's trying to do. That smells to me like trouble in his business. Better for you to find work that you like, on your own terms, than be forced to if he ends up filing Chapter 11.
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Reply Mon 27 Nov, 2023 05:58 pm
I think it's unreasonable.

1. You had a job description when you started, right? None of these things are in that. Your salary was based on that job description, but even if they changed it and raised your salary, it likely would not be commensurate with the extra work. In addition, you would have too much learning and work to do and not enough time to do it.

2. I'd sit down and say all that to him, meanwhile looking for another job. He needs to hire another person to do all the extra duties he's piling on.

3. His responses are bullying behaviour. What will he ask for next? For you to do his duties when he's away?

Find another job! Life is too precious to spend it like this. Good luck!
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