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When Everything You’ve Got is the Bare Minimum

Sometimes we limit our efforts at work to our job description because we don’t want to step on toes or be perceived as presumptuous.

Many job descriptions are so full that it takes all we’ve got just to complete our daily responsibilities.

In our podcast conversation on The Literalist, Claudia are discussing the reality that there are occasions when all you’ve got might be the bare minimum.

The example I want to talk about today is crunch time. Crunch time is when deadlines get moved forward, and all previous planning no longer applies. Crunch time is when there is an unexpected absence on the team, and their workload needs redistributing.

There are times when more or different is needed of us. If we do not have eyes to notice these needs, then our faithful fulfillment of our job description risks being interpreted as avoiding work, not being a team player, or doing the bare minimum.

What we need to do is expand our personal definition of “faithful”, “loyal” and “dedicated” service. Instead of limiting it to the strict fulfillment of our written job description, (which is a good thing), we need to include the fulfillment of the greater goals of the department.

When we view our job description as one piece of many in the achievement of larger department goals, then we open up new perspectives for viewing how we might best adjust during crunch times.

Instead of being seen as doing the bare minimum, we are the ones who are making things happen, getting things done, and part of the solution.

It’s not a matter of choosing between being too self-protective or too self-effacing. It’s a matter of being wise about your involvement given the leaders and team with whom you work. These are different for each of us.

How do you gauge your supervisor’s perception of you?

Here's My Thought...

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