3 Ways Having Bad Boundaries At Work Could Make You Poorer

Lacking work boundaries isn't just hindering your mental health and well-being.

Bad Boundaries At Work Making You Poor Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Career strategist Whitney Living recently shared on Instagram that a lack of healthy boundaries at work could actually be costing you money. 

From neglecting to advocate for yourself to letting management walk all over you, a lack of boundaries could be the cause of an unfulfilling career and bank account. 

Here are 3 ways having bad boundaries at work could cost you money:

1. You don't advocate for yourself

Sometimes, advocating for yourself at work can be uncomfortable, whether it’s asking for a raise, shifting your overwhelming workload, or even asking for help on a project. 


Despite the inevitable discomfort these conversations might bring you, they’re essential to have. Not only can they help cultivate a better work-life balance, but they can also ensure you’re paid fairly for the work you’re doing.

@drjudithjoseph My clients often discuss unpleasant experiences with toxic employers because they are not adequately compensated for their contributions. This causes them to feel unheard when they voice their concerns. Working with a therapist may help you to feel more confident in knowing your self worth and advocating for yourself in the workplace and in relationships in general. #holidaybonus #workplaceproblems ♬ Don't I Make It Look Easy - Meghan Trainor

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“If you’ve been ‘promised’ a raise or have never been given a raise, your employer might be taking advantage of your boundaries,” Living explained. “They don’t expect you to say anything about a raise, so they don’t plan on giving you one.”

Being that almost half of employees report feeling “underpaid” in their jobs, sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. 

If you don't ask, chances are they won't offer. Make it impossible for them to ignore you. You deserve to feel heard, valued, and fairly compensated at work, no matter what kind of role you hold.

2. They give you ‘busy work’ or projects below your skill level

Another way that poor boundaries impact your financial compensation at work is by accepting and continuing to do “busy work” or projects that don’t match your skill set. 


Some employers will take advantage of employees who accept this kind of work by “robbing them” of the potential for pay raises and promotions.

Overworked man sitting at his laptop in the dark. Ground Picture / Shutterstock.com

“Over time this can cause you to miss out on promotions and other opportunities to increase your income,” she shared. While sometimes it’s necessary to accept this “busy work,” you should set boundaries that prohibit you from getting caught up in an endless monotonous loop without the possibility of advancement.


RELATED: Worker Finally Received A Pay Raise To Celebrate 10 Years At Her Job — It Was An Additional 20 Cents Per Hour

3. 'You stay at a job you should leave'

Lastly, something all of us have been guilty of at some point is staying in a job that’s just not right for you. Whether they’re taking advantage of you, not paying you enough, or simply overworking you, healthy boundaries would force you out of your comfort zone and make you find something more lucrative

If you have the resources and freedom to look for another job, you should, especially if you’re not being compensated for the time, energy, and work you’re putting into it. “Staying at a job for too long has been shown to decrease your earning potential by 50% over the course of your career,” Living noted.

@yourtango To celebrate ten years at her job, a worker received a raise - for a whopping 20 cents an hour #worktok #corporate #raise #jobhopper #reddit #loyalty ♬ original sound - YourTango

Finding a new job can increase your salary and compensation and diversify your resume, setting you up for greater financial success down the road. So, whether you’re extremely unhappy in your current job or not, make sure you continue building relationships in your industry and job hunting — it could open up more doors than you think.


At the end of the day, not everyone’s work boundaries will look the same, but setting them is equally important for everyone. With a “worker’s first” mindset, you’re setting clear standards for your own work and for what you’ll be willing to tolerate in the workplace. Don’t settle for unhealthy and toxic work situations — set yourself up for success.

RELATED: Boss Refuses To Pay His Employee Of 5 Years More Than Minimum Wage Despite Her Being A ‘Valued’ Worker

Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.