Dear Kay: My Boss Keeps Asking Me To Do After Hours Work, What Do I Do?


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Dear Kay: I’m a 24-year-old junior account executive at my new job in New York City. I’m hoping to climb my way up the corporate ladder so I can eventually move out of Manhattan, but my boss keeps asking me to work late. I usually get all of my work done within the deadline. My colleagues also seem fine with doing this extra work without extra pay, but I’m not. What should I do? — Young And Confused

Dear Young & Confused,

I chose your submission for my latest column because I think it truly highlights just how absurdly spoiled and lazy your generation has become. I don’t know whether it’s television or your parents who made you this way, but it needs to change. With your current attitude, there is no way you’re making it anywhere, and not just because you’re unwilling to put in the effort.

Making an extra effort is the first step to success. Your colleagues are fine with staying late because they want to be successful. They’re not working for their current paycheck. They’re working for the one ten years from now that lets them do whatever they want when they’re out of the office.

As a junior executive, you are literally nothing. No one cares about you, your feelings, and you are instantly replaceable. If you don’t want to do the work your boss is asking of you, he or she will find someone who does.

The second most important thing in work is that you’re likeable. Stupid narcissists who jump from job to job (even if they’re famous or on-paper successful) will tell you that being liked gets you nowhere. They are wrong. Being likeable gets you everywhere and is the easiest thing to do to make your life easier.

Trust me, I’ve been deeply disliked by employers in the past, and for good reason. It wasn’t until I found my current position that I finally grew up and realized that I was more likely to have a long-term sustainable career if I was at least easy to get along with. That’s not to say I don’t annoy the heck out of my editors here and there, but within reason.

Your reputation will follow you forever. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been hit-up to do work in the cannabis industry just because I showed up for 5-years straight for every single client, brand, or favor to a friend in the industry. People know they can call me and I’ll be there, because I always have been. The same goes for writing, and I am proud of the reputation I have amongst my peers (most of them, anyway).

You also work in a niche industry. If you refuse to do the extra work for your boss, you will probably be branded as lazy, difficult, and be passed over for future employment. Sure, you can lie about your experience and say you’re willing to go above and beyond. But when you don’t, you’ll be looking for another job within months, or maybe weeks.

Figure out whether you’ve made a huge mistake. Perhaps you’re unwilling to work late because you’re in the wrong industry. Is there something you love to do aside from being a corporate drone? If so, why not just go and do that instead. You’ll have to work harder, but it’ll feel less like work so maybe it won’t matter. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Barney Frank Tells Daily Caller’s Kay Smythe He’s On The Board Of Signature Bank)

Either that, or you could go into an industry where you can clock off when the bell tolls. Most of my close friends are in such industries, and they’re a heck of a lot happier than anyone I know in the corporate world.