The Desk

January 6, 2012

Career Tip: Now Available

The statement was “Well… Guess I’m not longer needed.”

The event that spurred the post was a temporary or contract employment situation that came to an end. The way the post was phrased indicated the separation was a little earlier than expected but it was the close of that relationship. What also comes through in the post is that neither side was too happy with the circumstances.

There should be unrestrained cheers if these impressions are correct. But then, as we inch our way out of this New Millennium Depression, we still need to be mindful of paying bills, spending carefully, and preparing for the next situation. Again, if the impressions are correct, there wasn’t time to do the front work and get ready for stepping into the new situation. If impressions are correct, the worker wasn’t as careful as they could or should have been under the circumstances.

A casual attitude is okay if it relates to a happy-go-lucky one that’s cheerful. It’s entirely possible to have that and be professional as well. However, happy-go-lucky attitude, cheerfulness, and carelessness in any regard simply spells trouble and the sooner the better the job is done or the worker is replaced is the alternative.

Let’s put this situation on the other foot. The worker is no longer the worker but instead is the boss or teh manager. A friend has been called in to help with making a tuna sandwich. Sounds like a simple job, right? Maybe, maybe not.

The friend arrives full of energy and enthused that they were asked to help with the project of making lunch. To keep the atmosphere upbeat, they suggest that the music be turned on – loud. So far, things aren’t that bad and the music is good. For you, the station or music selection isn’t important; it’s the making of the sandwich that’s the priority.

Then selecting the ingredients comes up. Friend wants everything out on the counter lined up in a row in a particular order. A new dish needs to be used for every step of the process. If friend doesn’t have it done their way, they get loud, obnoxious, and snarky. Things get worse as the project proceeds. Friend is also sloppy. There’s mayonnaise all over the counter. Lettuce is littered over the floor. Tomato juice and seeds are on the cabinet faces and we’re only 40 minutes into making the sandwich which is nowhere near ready to be slapped together.

The kitchen looks like a disaster area. It’ll take 2.5 hours to clean up with the amount of train wreck that presently exists. You tell friend that it may be better that you finish the sandwich yourself. You’ll send half a sandwich to them latter after your patient has eaten lunch. Your friend utters the statement, “Well, guess I’m no longer needed.” If things keep going in this downward trajectory, that foresight is absolutely correct.

Open for New Opportunities

My response to that attitude is what you’d expect from a woman who doesn’t recognize she’s climbing Mt. Everest until she’s reached the top of it: “Why are you feeling unneeded?” What you’re basically saying is that you’ve completed the job, with success I might add, and now you’re free to move on to something new and more challenging. You’re not stuck in a rut! You’re available to a wider audience.

The thing of it is, there must be quality input with little to no drama. Work habits and work environment need to be kept to the standards of the workplace. There was care in preparation and double checking the results for quality purposes.

Then, as the deadline for the project draws near, it’s time to start checking on what else is available and whether you’re interested in it. Chances are there are several other options out there provided you’ve paved the way with a good performance record. If that’s the case, you’re now available for something new, something better.

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