Finding & Keeping Work Part 1A

Creating your job daily

In my last post, I mentioned that once I get a job, I continue to create it daily. This deserves more than a passing reference. Creating your job is so important that you might well spend a few hours figuring out what that means in your particular case.

You define your job by what you do. If what you do every day is real and acceptable to those who employ you, you are in good shape.

On the other hand, it doesn’t matter how hard you work, if you are not doing what is expected of you. You are wasting your time and will probably be fired/laid off when you least expect it.

Let’s take the optimum situation where you have a job description and have been given targets to meet:
1. You still have to learn and master all of the activities necessary to turn out an acceptable amount of work.
2. You have to develop lines of communication with those you will be dependent upon for assistance.
3. You must learn the corporate culture and become comfortable working within it.
4. You need to ask questions in order to find out what your seniors and coworkers expect from you.

If you do not do all of these steps, you will fail miserably and find yourself looking for still another job. Some people I know have refused to do these steps for years, and have grown more bitter with each job.

If you do all of the above steps, you will know that you are doing what is required. This will give you great certainty even before it comes time for your review. You will be able to know immediately whether your employer is playing fair with you at review time. You will be in an excellent position to demand additional responsibility and compensation. If your employer attempts to play games with you, you will be totally prepared to find another job immediately. (I will address this in the next set of posts.)

Finally, let’s touch upon the least optimum situation where your job description and targets change constantly – no clear objectives for you to meet:
5. You still need to do all of the steps above in order to see if you can change the situation for the better.
6. Meanwhile, you had better get busy and see which of these are also missing:
– The work must produce an ethical product or service.
– Superior performance must be recognized and acknowledged.
– There should be a rational and understandable command structure.
– There must be a way to gather information in order to do the job well.

You will have to bail out eventually, because you are being set up for failure. But, if you do steps 5 and 6 thoroughly, you will learn enough that you won’t be caught in this situation on the next job.

The next set of posts on this subject will address finding work that is an improvement over what you have now.

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