Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Better Good Job

There's a school of thought out there that people should do their jobs. And, truly, they should. I don't think there is any excuse for a lack of execution. You're paid. Do your job.

Having said that, there are many ways to do your job. Or not do it.

You can be rigid and inflexible, and shift the burden of the work onto others. Returns will only be accepted with a receipt, and we'll deduct a restocking fee if it's over 10 days, and no, I don't care that it was broken in the box. Please fill out this form in triplicate. I am the DMV.

You can be overloaded at all times. Granted, you might be overloaded. But, your inability to prioritize certain types of work - because you can't even manage your life well enough to make time to prioritize - makes you impossible to work with. Of course, you're working hard. But you're not working smart. Which makes working with you impossible. 

You can have a bad attitude. Sure, attitude is not part of the content of most jobs (though many) - but making it an emotional burden to interact with you is costly to an organization. And if people are actively avoiding you for personality reasons, most of the time someone else is doing the work you're not doing. That's not fair.

You can be slow. Some people simply are slow. Some jobs don't really work when people are slow. There are, like it or not, some actual deadlines in the real world - and being sluggish will often push others to complete your work in order to meet those deadlines. Not everyone likes to operate on a last-minute basis, so operating like this also creates emotional stress for the planners. If you are a more measured person, at a minimum, demonstrate consistent, accurate list management to increase confidence that you do, in fact, have it covered.

You can forget. There are certain people who remember professionally. These glorious clipboards save my bacon most days. But if you are going to be a clipboard - or manage any sort of to-do-list - then do it. Dropping items from your own list - while at the same time claiming you're on top of everything - shift the burden of managing your to-do list onto others.

The reason all these things net out to not doing your job well is that most deliverables are team outputs. Thus, anything you do to shirk work or increase stress will shift the burden onto someone else. And a responsible team will get it done anyways, regardless - meaning that you're simply not pulling your weight.

Thank you for doing a better job. Or at least, trying.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

So very true.