3

I have been working in a tech start up for 7 months as a PM and something is starting to bug me.

  • The rest of the team can come into work at 9am, I have to be in at work by 8-8:30 latest. Contractually my hours are 9-6, if I come in at 9am now my boss tells me off.

My boss often comes later than me to the point I'm wondering why I am coming in early.

  • Instead of working a 40 hour week, I am working 50-60 hour weeks from the additional hour or more of overtime. Also on weekends I am generally on stand by.

I am starting to get burnt out and this is affecting my work/life balance with my partner. I have already told my boss this, and how commuting is generally difficult (I spend about over 2 hours commuting a day), it's fallen a bit on deaf ears.

Other then this, I am generally a high performer in the company. The pay is bothering me too, I am being paid as a PM well below the market rate since it is my first full time professional PM role.

Is there anything I can do, or should I just accept it?

closed as off-topic by Lilienthal, Dawny33, Kate Gregory, Retired Codger, gnat Apr 28 '16 at 13:53

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Real questions have answers. Rather than explaining why your situation is terrible, or why your boss/coworker makes you unhappy, explain what you want to do to make it better. For more information, click here." – Lilienthal, Dawny33, Kate Gregory, Retired Codger, gnat
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

7

Start looking for a job that is closer to you.

  • Spending long hours commuting significantly deteriorates your quality of life. Personally, this alone would be a deal-breaker for me.
  • Your relationship with your partner is already under strain because you are experiencing lots of stress at work.
  • You are severely underpaid.
  • You are expected to work overtime without extra remuneration.
  • Your boss does not take your feedback seriously. This is arguably the worst thing about your current situation, because your boss' attitude means that things most probably will not improve.

I shall assume that you are not given any equity. Most startups fail, and you are likely to suddenly lose your job. Why take on higher risks of becoming unemployed if you are not rewarded with a share in the company, especially when the work environment and conditions are so unpleasant?

The fact that you are currently employed will make you more attractive to other employers. Start looking for greener pastures, because your current situation is not sustainable.

While you are job-hunting, here are two things you can do:

  • Arrive at your office no earlier than 9.
  • Stop making yourself available on weekends.

Your contract does not obligate you to work longer than 40 hours a week. If your boss wants you to put in more hours, he should be prepared to pay you more (perhaps 1.5 - 2 times your usual rate). Since you are a good performer and in charge of the development team, it is unlikely that he will want to fire you on short notice (and maybe your contract even prevents him from doing so), so you do have some leverage here. (EDIT: Kilisi provides an alternative suggestion, and I think you should follow his advice if you really want to play things safe.)

If your employer is generally kind and understanding, it is perfectly fine to put in some extra unpaid hours here and there when needed. But it is clear that your boss treats you as a commodity to exploited, so there is really no need to do him any favors. Stick to the terms on your contract and start diligently job-hunting.

  • 3
    I like this answer except the last parts, changing routine and refusing to show up early or be available on weekends is not the way to go when job hunting. This basically tells your employer that you're about to abandon ship as soon as you can. Best to soldier on quietly until you have a job offer, then do what you want. – Kilisi Apr 28 '16 at 9:12
  • 1
    @Kilisi Good point! I am making the (perhaps unwarranted?) assumption that OP is unlikely to suddenly get fired, based on the fact that he is a good performer. OP also added in a comment that he is charge of the development team, so that does give him some leverage. – MY_G Apr 28 '16 at 9:21
  • He won't fire me, because I am effectively running his company. But if my standards drop he probably will fire me. He is a bit cut throat like that. – bobo2000 Apr 28 '16 at 9:25
  • Ironically, I am doing a better job than him right now - he is on the sales side, he is struggling, I am generally delivering projects well. – bobo2000 Apr 28 '16 at 9:26
  • @bobo2000 If he fires you on short notice, he does so at his own peril. That will tell you all you need to know about whether the company will succeed or not. (Answer: Almost certainly not.) – MY_G Apr 28 '16 at 9:27
2

The rest of the team can come into work at 9am, I have to be in at work by 8-8:30 latest. Contractually my hours are 9-6, if I come in at 9am now my boss tells me off. Boss often comes later than me to the point I'm wondering why I am coming in early.

... How can your boss tell you off for being "late" if he arrives later than the rest of the team ? That probably means your team is telling on you. Both asking you to come before your contractual hours without a reason, and this, are red flags.

I am starting to get burnt out and this is affecting my work/life balance with my partner. I have already told my boss this, and how commuting is generally difficult (I spend about over 2 hours commuting a day), it's fallen a bit on death ears.

Well, you told your boss about your getting burnt-out and that's a good thing. But did you try to actually ask why you have to be there half an hour before the rest of your team ? Did you notice any logical reason behind this ? If you didn't, then either you are missing something relative to your role (but that would surprise me), or this is plain stupid.

Other then this, I am generally a high performer in the company. Aside from the burn out, the pay is bothering me too, I am being paid as a PM well below the market rate since it is my first proper PM role.

I would suggest trying to understand what's going on, and starting to look for an other job immediately in the meantime. Maybe there's an explanation, but I wouldn't count on it, and it seems like you are undervalued by a considerable margin. Plus, as I said, arbitrary rules like "You shall be at work 30 minutes before your coworkers" are not a sign of good management at all. Most importantly, do not accept this. Either understand the situation (again, I don't believe there is anything to understand, it just sounds like bad/arbitrary management), or find another job quickly. Burning out is a serious problem that should be addressed as quickly as possible.

  • The problem with my boss (and although for the most part he is a nice guy) is that he really wants to get his money worth with all employees. Since the dev team are not working that closely (they work under me), and I am on the operational side, he tends to micro manage. The problem is he is getting his money worth, but keeps wanting more and more which is starting to lead to burn out. I think that is what is happening. – bobo2000 Apr 28 '16 at 9:17
  • Do you think that 7 months is too early to move on? – bobo2000 Apr 28 '16 at 9:18
  • Maybe your boss is indeed trying to get as much as he can from his employees, that's fine, but there are limits to that. Milking your employees until they burnout is not a good strategy, and you should not accept that. – Sheldonator Apr 28 '16 at 9:19
  • @bobo2000 Your boss is not a nice guy. Start looking for another job, preferably one that is much closer to your home. – MY_G Apr 28 '16 at 9:19
  • @bobo2000 : I didn't see your second comment. There is no such thing as too early to leave if you are burning out, but you have to take some other parameters into account. How long have you been working in this field ? What is your overall level of experience ? If it's not the first time you leave a job early, you might appear as a job hopper to future employers, but if things are going bad at a personal level, you might have to take this risk. – Sheldonator Apr 28 '16 at 9:21
2

Before taking any decision you have to ask yourself several questions:

  1. Am I able to manage my projects working from 9-6?
  2. Is this situation going on from 7 months? Is this situation simply temporary regarding urgent project?
  3. Am I really enjoying my work here, despite those working hour and salary issues ?
  4. What is the situation regarding PM in other quite similar company?
  5. Would it be ok to work more if I get a salary increase?

You cannot work in these conditions, a the end, you will lose your motivation and implication. You definitely don't have to accept it. But you have to figure out if you will be willing to quit your job if the situation does not change.

If I were you I tried to discuss it with my manager or HR services once again explaining very clairly how this situation affects me in order to find a solution together. If they do not seem to care at all, I will simply start looking for another job.

  • I think that a large reason why these problems are arising is from a lack of resources. The company often takes on projects where there are no resources within the company to do them. Or when there are resources, just one sub contractor working on a massive build. With that said, I have no idea the need for early starts since I always get a fair amount done during the day. The lack of money to be honest is demotivating. – bobo2000 May 4 '16 at 10:14

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.