Was that not in your job description before? It is now.

I just viewed a job posting for an editor who not only will edit and handle the traditional production tasks, but is expected to serve as a backup for the receptionist when he or she leaves on lunch break.

If I had that job, that would be fine by me. I am currently doing “extras” that I once would have disdained. But that’s OK – I am happy to have a job and I am grateful to my company for providing me a job with benefits. The only reason I will eventually leave is for personal reasons – I’m getting married to someone who lives a bit of a long distance away. Otherwise, I would expect to stay with my company long-term.

With today’s economy, you can’t afford to say “that’s not in my job description, that’s beneath me.” Companies continue to feel the squeeze and are keeping staffing levels tight. They expect – and deserve – their workers to rally around the corporate flag and do everything within reason to help them pull through. It’s not only your job that could be on the line – it could be the company’s survival.


Teamwork takes trust

What can you do if your co-workers aren’t working together as a team? You don’t have to throw in the towel.

According to Patrick Lencioni, author of “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” the absence of trust is the root of a lack of teamwork. You know you have trust when people engage in unfiltered conflict when discussing ideas. They admit weaknesses and ask for help. Dysfunctional team members conceal their weaknesses from one another and hesitate to ask for help.

It’s not a weakness to admit you don’t know everything and to ask for help. It takes courage to do so, and you display strength by admitting this. Any competent supervisor will appreciate your honesty and dedication to getting the job done correctly. If your supervisor isn’t competent, he or she may be afraid to show weakness. Showing your strength in this instance could be your chance to shine.

One of my former business professors, Dr. Jeff Myers, says that thought precedes communication. Try to think of one area you can improve upon and find a non-threatening way to mention this to a co-worker you think you can work well with. Use this as an opportunity to build a good working relationship with this person. If he or she shares a weakness with you, great. You’ve made a start at building a cohesive team that can communicate effectively. If this co-worker doesn’t reciprocate by opening up to you, then he or she isn’t going to be a reliable teammate anytime soon.

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