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Background: I work as a mechanical engineer at a startup in India.

So basically during the past year, my employer has reduced my pay during lock-down periods by up to 50% while still having me work from home. I completely understand that company finances are very tight especially in hardware based start-ups. I however do not like the fact that my employer finds creative ways to diss my work saying that it is incomplete or improper or does not meet standards just to justify my reduced pay. I know what he's saying is complete BS as he himself doesn't understand what he's talking about and has an external consultant ensure that my designs are as per code. So far the consultant has approved all my work without any issues. I know that I am a stellar employee and my boss says so frequently himself.

But him docking my pay while having me work as well as patronizing my work has resulted in me building up resentment towards my boss as well as the company.The pay is not so much the issue but rather the way I am treated.

I no longer put in any unpaid overtime (very common in India), I don't even answer phone calls or emails after work hours. I no longer offer to help out my colleagues who need help (this means putting in unpaid overtime), I no longer jump at opportunities to volunteer responsibility, I don't care about building vendor/client relationships anymore, etc.

I feel however, this resentment has caught up to my work and shows up in my work. I feel that the quality of my work has decreased as I no longer put in my full effort, just the bare minimum that is required. I am a person who takes a lot of pride in my work and I'm at a total loss on how to go about resolving things.

I'm currently on the hunt for a new job and am afraid that this mentality will carry-forward into my new job hindering me from being my best self and contributing to the company to the fullest.

To wrap things up: How do I get out this mentality and back to being my best self?

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

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    Your issue is with the behavior of your current boss/company. Why do you think it would carry over to your next job? – obe Jun 12 at 18:47
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    Because every day is practice for the next, and you don’t shed bad habits instantly because you want to. – mxyzplk Jun 12 at 18:50
  • @obe my issue is not with my current employer but rather the "why should I go above and beyond for anyone?" mindset that I have developed over the past year. I know I wasn't valued in this company but how do I get out of this mentality that I have developed as a sort of coping mechanism? – ATool Jun 12 at 18:53
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    @ATool I see. but why say "anyone"? have you stopped investing in things unrelated to your employer? for example, have you stopped caring about your family? your friends? – obe Jun 12 at 18:56
  • @obe I say 'anyone' in the context of a future employer. To your point, I had withdrawn from speaking to friends and family after a bout of depression. I've overcome that now but I still feel the same way towards work. I'm hoping that my outlook can change and won't affect my career. – ATool Jun 12 at 19:05
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This is the correct attitude to have. Unless it's your company or you have shares in the company don't overwork. They can and will fire you at any point. Time is the only commodity we cannot increase or change. Save your time for yourself and your family. Don't be a slave to a corporation

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  • @Aziz Hey, I share your viewpoint. That's pretty much the reason my mental state is what it is now. Unfortunately, in a country as populated as India, not being married to your work and sucking up to your boss makes you look like a lazy unmotivated worker. I hope that it won't affect my career growth too much as work-life balance is pretty much non-existent in this part of the world. – ATool Jun 13 at 7:12
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I'm currently on the hunt for a new job

Well done!

am afraid that this mentality will carry-forward into my new job hindering me from being my best

Good news: As soon as you get your new job, your spirit will clear and everything will be perfect. Nothing will carry over.

Enjoy!

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    Thank you for sharing your optimism. It really gives me hope. – ATool Jun 12 at 19:08
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    No need for hope! Your attitude is good and you are on the right path, enjoy!! :) – Fattie Jun 12 at 20:01
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I am a person who takes a lot of pride in my work

No, you used to be that person, but you have let external circumstances dictate your actions and control your morale.

I'm currently on the hunt for a new job and am afraid that this mentality will carry-forward into my new job

It will, you need to make a mental shift and divorce your professional work ethic from any negative influences. You do not have to enjoy your work environment to do professional work, it's actually the test of a pro that you can perform under stress.

Never let the actions/inactions of others dictate your responses. As a professional your morale should never be influenced, it's just a job that needs to be done, a problem to solve. You control this, you can train yourself to do so. It's not particularly difficult after the first few steps and is a huge asset that becomes habitual over time.

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    As a professional your morale should never be influenced Who would not be morally outraged and unaffected by 40-50% reduction in pay and by management who criticise their work and efforts? – Mari-Lou A Jun 13 at 5:44
  • @Mari-LouA morale not morally, to me it would just be a problem to solve, not something to get upset over. It wouldn't affect the quality of my work on it's own. That would take a conscious decision on my part with a positive goal (for me) in mind. – Kilisi Jun 13 at 5:45
  • You wouldn't be upset over such a massive pay reduction? Maybe if management appreciated their employee's output and guaranteed that the pay cut was temporary then maybe... someone could grin and bear it and do the job to the best of their ability but be expected to do overtime, cultivate client relationships, respond to emails after working hours etc. is stretching things too far. – Mari-Lou A Jun 13 at 5:51
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    I'd quietly take steps to analyse other options I suggest that changing one's work environment and (hopefully) earning the same salary pre-COVID will help enormously with morale. – Mari-Lou A Jun 13 at 6:02
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    @Kilisi Wow straight for the jugular. But thank you, I really needed that. You're right that I let external circumstances dictate my morale. I shouldn't let things get to me and affect me psychologically and that's what makes a professional. I am however just 2 years into the workforce so I couldn't help but develop a coping mechanism. Hopefully I will get more support in my new job and thing will go back to usual. – ATool Jun 13 at 7:24

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