Whether this is a regular occurrence for you or you’re experiencing it for the first time now, being assigned a job you’re not happy with can be a frustrating experience. While doing things we don’t like to do is a perfectly normal function of being an employee, there are a few things you can do to improve your workplace experience when this happens.
- Remember that it’s not a punishment
Never jump to conclusions when given a less-than-desirable assignment. Take a moment to think about the situation as logically as possible, and evaluate all the different reasons why you might have been asked to do that particular assignment (ie. maybe you’re the best one for the job, maybe you’re the only one available, maybe your supervisor thinks it would be a good learning opportunity for you, maybe your supervisor thought you would enjoy it). Whatever the task is, there are countless reasons why you may have been given it, so it’s important to not get angry or think this is a punishment of some sort.
- Think about why you don’t like the assignment
Depending on the nature of the job, the reason may be obvious or it may not be. Either way, take the time to articulate what it is you don’t like about what you’re doing and why. Is it just exceptionally hard work? Is it mind-numbing work? Is it work that you just feel you’re not good at? Is it isolating work? Once you narrow down what it is you don’t like about the job, it will give you a better understanding of whether you should just grin and bear it, or whether your should move on to step three.
For example, if after taking some time to think, you come to the conclusion that you don’t like the assignment because it’s boring, you can start thinking about ways you might be able to make it more interesting (ie. develop a game for yourself, get competitive, set mini goals, etc). If, however, you discover that you don’t like your assignment because it is outside your area of expertise and you struggle to perform well, then you may want to move to step three.
- Talk to your supervisor
Once again, it’s important to remember step number one. Remind yourself that your supervisor isn’t necessarily out to get you or trying to make your life miserable. There are many reasons why they may have assigned you to this specific task, so approach them very respectfully. Let your supervisor know how you feel about your assignment and why you feel that it may not be the best fit for you, but don’t expect immediate action. Be prepared to see the task through, and kindly request that they remember your feedback for next time.
While working often means doing tasks we don’t love on a daily basis, it’s important to remember that your voice is valuable. So if you feel that you’ve been given a task at work that is poorly aligned with your skills and/or job description, you have every right to be heard.
Note: This article is NOT referring to assignments that are unsafe. You ALWAYS have the right to refuse unsafe work. If you’ve been given an assignment at work that you feel is unsafe, don’t grin and bear it, get in touch with us.