December 22, 2013

Why Your Job Description Is a Lie

HRZone resized 600“What if I told you that your entire working life was based on a myth? Let me explain…Remember back to your first few days in a new job. Whether you were an experienced professional or new to the workforce, you quickly discovered that the “job description” that explained your role was quite different from the reality you faced. Nobody told you this, but the day you were hired you actually accepted two jobs.

The first was the position you interviewed for, including the title and all of the responsibilities outlined on paper. The second “job-within-the-job” included the unspoken work that required you to: manage constant change; effectively collaborate with difficult people; navigate confusing workplace politics; and get your best work done in an environment of shrinking resources and increasing demands. For both managers and employees, this is the double-reality of work.

The truth that our job descriptions lie is, in part, the reason work can be so frustrating. We are all working two jobs, and as we politely get down to the business of fulfilling the tasks and activities in our primary job descriptions, we incessantly bump up against the real challenges of our “job-within-the-job.” And yet, there is no common language to describe this hidden side of work, so we do not speak about it. And because we do not speak about it, we are not given support to address it. And this is the ferocious cycle that ensues from A to D and back again: (A) we are hired and paid to do a job, (B) but are only given a partial picture of what is needed to succeed at it, (C) so we are on our own to understand the missing part of the picture and to figure out our own path toward success, and (D) while all of this unfolds we will not be rewarded any differently if we succeed, but we could still face consequences if we fail to meet the job’s demands.”

Read the rest of the article at HR Zone here.


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