Are you a team player or a sucker?

So you're a team player who goes the proverbial extra mile to make sure projects hit deadlines. What's your reward?

So you're a team player who goes the proverbial extra mile to make sure projects hit deadlines. What's your reward? If you're like many all-star IT pros, your boss heaps on even more responsibilities.

Watch out—your role can quickly degenerate from team player to your boss's sucker if you don't get the recognition or the extra pay you rightfully deserve.

I know it's not easy to "just say no" to your boss. But how long can you keep doing your job, your boss's job, and two other people's jobs--without being compensated for your efforts?

Here's my advice for dealing with managers who bury you in work and then hide behind the "other duties as assigned" item in your job description.

Document everything you do
Before you start tossing salvos at your boss about being overworked and underpaid, you have to be able to back up your claims with numbers.

Have you completed certain tasks that rightly should have been completed by your boss or coworkers? If so, a folder stuffed full of archived e-mail threads and voice mails can help protect your credibility.

Respect the chain of command
Go to your boss. Tell him or her that you need help completing certain amounts of work. As is often the case, your boss may simply be clueless about what you do on a daily basis.

So clearly outline your daily responsibilities and indicate where you think expectations and resources are out of line. If your boss turns a deaf ear to your call for help, consider going to human resources.

Don't whine
You can shoot yourself in the foot if you let your mouth get ahead of your brain. Don't barge into the break room and start complaining that you have too much to do or that your boss is an idiot.

Unemployment lines are full of people who made the mistake of blowing off steam instead of trying to find a logical, appropriate resolution to their complaints.

Whatever you do, keep your composure and buckle down until the IT job market picks up.

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