Some of the best advice that I’ve received in my career is that whatever job position you find yourself in, you should always be trying to work yourself out of a job.
In a nutshell, working yourself out of a job means building up your team in such a way that someday you could walk away from your project and everything would continue running normally without a hitch. In order to do this you must invest greatly in your team. You must push and inspire them to grow and improve their skill set. You must keep them from becoming demotivated and complacent.
In the process of working yourself out of a job, you also need to focus on working yourself into the next job. Now, this isn’t a cheap way of suggesting that you should always be looking for promotions and more money. The idea here is to simultaneously delegate away some responsibilities in order to take on additional more important ones. In other words, trade-up for tasks that provide more value or have more visibility. Sometimes, this means taking on tasks that nobody else wants to do but it’s the only way to ensure you are positioning yourself for the future more in a desirable and aren’t simply training your replacement.
Working yourself out of a job is challenging. It takes you out of your comfort zone and leaves you vulnerable. However, the potential rewards are well worth the risk. If you don’t agree with me, just consider the alternative approach of living in a world of job protection and CYA tactics year after year.
You can get started today by delegating a task to a team member that is clamoring for some additional responsibility, recommending a good book, offering a colleague some helpful advice, or giving constructive feedback.
Think about it.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action–
Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.
Time to let the big man (or woman) with the corner office know what you really think.
Happiily, a Canadian start-up company, recently launched Tell Your Boss Anything, allowing employees vent their frustrations to their managers anonymously.
The service, which is designed to help facilitate relationships between the two parties, lets you express what’s on your mind without too much fear of retribution.
The depth of your passion to succeed is directly translated in the actions you take to achieve your goals. Whenever you start something new you have high levels of excitement and energy to win. Over time as the highs become lows your enthusiasm decreases along with passion and suddenly you just aren’t putting in the effort you started with. Anything you approach must be met with your best effort.