I am a trainee developer at a large (~120 people) web agency, about 7 days from passing my probation. During my interview and on the contract it says the work hours are from 9:30am to 6:30pm. I always work at least those hours, and often overtime.
I studied biochemistry at university, but fell in love with web development. I don't have a CS degree or any qualifications as a developer; and my employers know this when he hired me.
But he has criticized me twice since then for not being enthusiastic, and not using my time to make up for it. Both of which I find extremely untrue and unfair. I do a lot of relevant reading in my own time (for my own interests, not because he requested).
Lately, I've been given projects with unreasonable deadlines, and they expect me to overtime without pay. I mean, I know I am not as skilled as my other colleagues, but it shouldn't mean I have to be a slave, giving all my time to do their projects. What's worse, they don't teach me anything, so I gain very little in these overtime.
There's an overtime culture at the company; people there are happy to work, go home, sleep and work again the next day. I cannot do that. I am not as skilled as them, yes; that's why I need my own time to learn new things that they should be teaching me, but are not.
How should I approach my boss to tell him that he is expecting too much? Without risk getting fired.
UPDATE 7 NOV, 2014 Conditions did not get better, OT'd until 5am on many nights and also OT'd every weekend for the past month. After refusing to OT anymore, I was fired.
In hindsight, sticking around wasn't such a bad idea, it really made me appreciate my own time more, and my work ethic is much better now. And now I have found work with a new company, who is smaller but have big clients too, and they've said "we work like a bank" - 0930 to 1830, you leave at 1830, no weekends - and they pay much better, which I didn't think was possible! I'll continue to give my best for this company!