‘It’s not my job' is a very popularly heard phrase in the Corporate World – which is the flip side of an otherwise very useful tool called – Job Description (JD) . JD helps one more clarity on his / her role responsibility & what is expected from the role . Unfortunately most use JD to have clarity on what is not listed therein, to claim as ‘This is not my Job’
While above remains as the time tested, evergreen , conventional work approach , idea here is to present an alternative work ( & hence Life ) approach, for those, who it can help.
This alternative approach which I discovered & am following since , works around asking 3 questions in succession , when you see anything around ( work , item , aspect , emotion , person … just about anything ):
- Does this (work) need to be done? .. if the answer is "Yes", go to the second question
- Can I do it? (vis-à-vis your ability to do it ), if the answer is "Yes", go to next question
- Will I do it? ( to do with your willingness & time availability )
If the answer to the 3rd / last question is ‘Yes’, just do it, regardless of your JD … doesn’t matter whose job it is.
Let me explain to you with an example. You have a part time housemaid who comes everyday to wash used utensils . She is absent from last 2 days , without notice , as a result utensils to be cleaned have piled up in your kitchen sink & you are feeling short of utensils for cooking . You have two choices … wait until the day your maid shows up or get an alternative arrangement for cleaning , including yourself cleaning . Now try using my alternative work approach, ask 3 successive questions:
- Does this ( work ) need to be done ? Your answer is likely to be ‘Yes’ - Go to next question
- Can I do it? , Not being a skilled job, your answer is ‘Yes’, go to next question
- Will I do it ? – Decide based on your time & mental comfort … may be you will say ‘Yes’
In reality, you would have acted much earlier than 2 days … you would understand that these 3 questions would have crossed your subconscious mind & answered in affirmative, even before you realized . This is how we work in our personal life … unfortunately when it comes to our work , we become Maids & think it is someone else’s job !
You just need to be careful while answering the 3rd question …. It is not just a matter of your time ( availability ), but your will / your mental comfort. If you feel by doing that job ( which was not "Your Job" , you feel angry or you feel you are doing a favour or you feel it is a big sacrifice … & hence feel burdened , it is not worth you undertaking that task , because it is going to stress you – If you don’t have the ‘ will ‘ to do it , don’t do it . Say yes to the 3rd question only if you are free of any psychological encumbrances.
I have always said that it will not be the Talent deficit , but Perspective deficit which will prove decisive difference between an Outstanding & an Ordinary, in the race at high performance end ; because "What you do is a function of how you see" . Conventional ( JD bound ) approach defines a Maid & the new (JD led ,but not restrictive) approach is what Mothers choose.
I am sharing this unconventional approach not to propagate its use --- finally you should have your own will ! – but just to make you aware that there does exist an alternative approach beyond the conventional route ( not my job ) you know , so that you can , if you choose to use it .The paths for the two approaches are different & I can tell you that if you are the person with a burning career ambition , this new approach is for you .
If you ask me whether this approach by one will lead to his/ her exploitation . My answer is No ! , since you have a choice of saying ‘ No ‘ to the 3rd question … but if you do not feel burdened in answering Q 3 , exploitation or not … please say YES . Now imagine if we can have more & more of us taking this alternative approach , how grossly different World we will make !
What is true for Work is also true for Life & vice versa … These 3 questions – which I learnt from my Mother’s & Wife’s behavior, will help you at any stage in life !