Punished for being efficient/ working smart?

I have been working at an up and coming real estate developer for almost 7 months now. I started out without any experience in real estate development, but since I've always been a really faster learner, I rapidly picked up everything and was able to tackle all kinds of tasks independently within a matter of 2-3 weeks. Later into the job, as I became more and more proficient, I started to "own" my own deals and market 100% independently. More than one supervisors have commented in private that I did a lot of work better than anyone else did. Also, I gradually realized that it always takes me less time to finish the same amount of work of the same complexity than it takes my peers. You would probably think it's a good thing, but I started to notice that 1 or 2 colleagues on the team seem to think that I don't get enough workload and that I am not "busy" enough - judging from the time it takes me to finish my work instead of the actual workload, which they are not keeping tabs on. One even explicitly mentioned to me once that " I have more bandwidth" and "my workload is lighter", while it is actually the opposite.

I started to get more untraditional work that no one else gets, tasks that are not within my scope, and the thorniest deals that have never been worked on by anyone within the company before. I am also expected to cover others' work sometimes, leaving me wonder why on earth does it take some of my colleagues so long to finish the simplest task (oh yes, endless chit chat, lengthy lunch break, and retard proficiency of excel, of course).

To be honest, I am more than happy to help my teammates out when I have the capacity, and I enjoy working on gnarly deals since it intellectually stimulates me, but I am frustrated that the efficiency and quality of my work are not recognized and appreciated by some colleagues, and instead make them think the opposite. I am also paranoid that I won't get the pay raise I expect and deserve. I have no legit reason to be paranoid since the year end review is still months away, but after reading so many posts about work place manipulation and unfair treatment, I couldn't help. Life is too short for futile effort.

I understand that this is not entirely their fault - it's much easier to keep track of how long does it take whom to finish what tasks than the actual workload; However, I do think it encourages mediocrity, and discourages ingenuity and productivity. It's how bad money starts driving out good money.

Has anyone ever found themselves in similar situations and how did you guys deal with it? Also, if I'm not looking at it the right way and straight up being a whiny b****, feel free to give me a reality slap. Any advice/ insight will be greatly appreciated, even if some of you might have never encountered such issues.

Thank you all in advance!

Sincerely

Comments (8)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
2mo

The nail that sticks up gets hammered down. I'd say it's a blessing and a curse. Clearly you're being recognized as someone who is smart and competent, but do the people that matter (i.e. your superiors) know and do they truly appreciate your talents? If so, I'd stick it out and get promoted etc., if not, then I'd take my skills elsewhere.

This is paralleled by the WSO adage that it's almost never worth being top bucket as you get put on the worst shit and cranked to the bone with no long-term ramifications on your career since you're just going to leave in two years. On the other hand, if you were trying to become a career banker it'd be likely worth it to stand out in that manner.

2mo
Macklemost, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the advice! It's really insightful. However, I doubt my competence is recognized by some colleagues since they somehow think I don't have enough work and that's why I always run out of stuff to do. I feel like my competence is being interpreted as light workload, and this bugs me quite a lot, especially when one of them is going around and telling my supervisors that "My workload is too light". How should I get myself across that I actually have a ton on my plate and I'm simply productive, or shall I not explain at all?

Most Helpful
2mo
AttackSnail, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Have been in this situation, my advice is to always seem busy even if you're not. Old Army trick, just look busy at all times otherwise you're going to get asked to clean the latrines. 

Those who are less efficient than you do not have the capacity to differentiate between how bust you are and your job efficiency, so their minds lazily assume you're not as busy as them. They will dislike you for it, or if they're aware you're better at your job than them they will also dislike you because most people are small and insecure.

Make sure the bosses know you're cranking out good work, and let everyone who is your peer or below you think you're slammed all the time. 

2mo
ConsultingQs, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Do you have a senior mentor or supporter who recognizes your abilities and that you trust? If so, I would maybe ask that person for advice (while being careful not to seem overly critical of the other employees making these comments towards you). They can give you perspective more suited to your specific situation, but it also has the benefit of making sure they're aware of the situation and in your corner in terms of performance reviews, etc. If others in the office are just giving you more work because you can handle it, that's one thing. If they genuinely think you have a light workload or are antagonistic towards you, then I would think you're at risk of getting average reviews or worse even though you're a high performer and doing more work.

I am no expert office politician by any means, but in my experience having one ally in a position of power goes a long way in protecting you in situations like this

2mo
Macklemost, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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