Doing Too Much At Work? It's Time To 'Act Your Wage'

Are you constantly taking on tasks outside of your pay grade at work? It could be time to push back on that extra labour and “act your wage”.

It’s the latest trend making waves on CareerTok and the concept is pretty simple: employees respectfully decline tasks that they’re not financially compensated for.

Content creator Sarai Soto has explored how this could play out in practice in a series of funny videos. In one, she describes a boss, Susan, who consistently expects her employee to do the work of two people.

“Susan, unless you’re going to pay me the salary of two people, because I’m one person, I’m not going to do that – respectfully,” she says.

The idea is not so different from quiet quitting – the trend for doing exactly what your job description requires, and nothing more.

But ‘act your wage’ takes a little more motivation than ‘let it rot’ – the term used when you tap out of trying at work altogether.

One argument for going above and beyond the remit of your role could be that it shows ambition and a desire to move up in a company.

But another content creator, Jareen Imam, points out the limitations of this approach. Imam says if you’re busting a gut in the hopes of a promotion, you should ask yourself whether your company guarantees promotions for employees who’ve taken on additional projects.

Visibility with management is great and all, says Imam, but “visibility doesn’t pay the bills”.

Doing a one-off “stretch project” to up your skills and boost your CV is one thing, but if it becomes the norm and you’re not compensated for it, it could be time to “act your wage” or move on from the company altogether.