What’s My Job?

What’s My Job?

By Cy Wakeman

Cy Wakeman is a leadership consultant and speaker. From The Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace: Know What Boosts Your Value, Kills Your Chances, and Will Make You Happier (Jossey-Bass). ©2013

Those who work with me are sometimes shocked to discover that I am not a big fan of job descriptions. For me they mean very little. I hand them over with a list of caveats: This is my best guesstimate of what you might be doing for some of the time that you are here. But, basically, your job is to work toward the goals of this organization in every way you can, all the time.

I draw a distinction between focusing on your job and your role. Your job description isn’t the beginning and end of your responsibility. Consider how you fit into the larger goals of the company. Who are you there to serve? How can you make sure that happens? It’s the difference between, “Sorry, that’s not my department” and, “Let me find someone who can help you.” Your role is to do whatever it takes (within your licensure, your expertise, and the law) to delight the customer and deliver quality. The sooner you get clear on that, the happier and less conflicted and anxious you are going to feel.


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