According to this article, this is the latest “quiet” trend that employers and employees should be aware of.
I don’t think it’s new.
In the tech industry, it is fairly common to be in a leadership position before you are actually IN a leadership position. Imagine this scenario. There is a team of folks responsible for “XYZ.” Everyone in the group reports to the same manager, but within the group, there is a clear leader, most likely the person with the most experience or relevant time in the industry. The manager continues to give this leader more work than the rest of the team, asking them to assist with their less experienced team members or be the primary contact on projects where they weren’t before, and so on.
All this time, this person is being evaluated based on how they lead the team they are not officially leading. They are even being measured based on the performance of people who don’t report to them and don’t know this is happening. Eventually, they may get promoted to the position they’ve been doing unofficially. Is that leveling up in your career, or is it wage theft?
I suspect there’s a very fine line between the two. The article I linked above has a few red flags to look out for if this is happening to you. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide whether the extra work and responsibility are worth it for the possibility of future promotion.
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