Bullshit Jobs PT2
Last week, I shared how to answer the question,
Do I have a Bulls**T job?
If you haven't read part one then the rest of this article might not make any sense. So I recommend bringing yourself up to speed and reading part one. In the end I turned the quiz into a nice little pdf which you can find here.
Why we should keep BS Jobs
Traditional job roles are the backbone of every large organisation. They offer a sense of stability and structure, ensuring that every cog in the machine knows its place and function. This gives so called clarity in large organisations where roles need to be defined to prevent chaos and ensure smooth operations. It also often helps to mark a clear line for career growth. These traditional jobs also signal to employees skills they can dial and help form a deep expertise in their domain. This specialisation often translates into efficiency and excellence.
Traditional job roles, with well-defined boundaries, have been the cornerstone of organisational structures. They offer the perception of predictability in an unpredictable world. In bloated organisation, these roles act as the glue holding the vast machinery together, ensuring that every piece, no matter how small, functions all in sync.
These roles are not just about maintaining order. They allow for the cultivation of deep expertise. An individual, when rooted in a specific role, can delve deep, mastering the nuances and subtleties of their domain, becoming not just an employee but a true craftsperson.
Why we should lose BS Jobs
On the flip side, in the more modern organisation theres a growing feeling that these rigid job structures are more of a hindrance than a help. Often these people with BS job are seen as something that add excessive bureaucracy and red tape into the system, delay decisions because of self preservation egos, all which equal more meetings, more emails, more duplication and all lead to inefficiencies and less meaningful work Often people with BS roles often force you to work in silo, never truly allowing cross-functional collaboration due to politics, legacy and hierarchy. Progressive companies today are championing the cause of fluid roles, where employees wear multiple hats, seamlessly transitioning between tasks and departments or enabled by new ways of and culture hacking (which we will come back to later)
Finding Purpose In a BS Job
Do I think BS are a thing 100% hell yes, I have had one or two of them and I have had bosses who seem like they've made a career out of it.
So what happens if you find yourself in a BS job and want to get out of it?
Well It often starts with a lot of pondering and identifying which activities in your role bring genuine value and which are redundant. What are your core strengths, passions and aspirations? If the answers all lead to middle management then do it again, if you come to the same conclusion then sit with it longer and identify what it is in that role specifically, that not only, gets you going but is impactful
Remember the simple question to ask yourself...
If I stop this role tomorrow do things go south very quick, or do things become better
Transforming Your Role Out of the BS group
The Art of Job Crafting: Shape and redefine your job to align it with your strengths and passions. Break free from the confines of traditional job descriptions and craft your role around your love (the thing that gives you energy)
Write the Job Description You Love: Sounds simple, but a simple task like this can help reframe the challenge, simply write the job description you would love to have. It's a bit like when you leave a business, rather than have an exit interview write a breaking up letter to the CEO
Seek Cross-Functional Collaboration: Engage actively with other departments to break silos and foster collaboration, unfortunately sometimes you’re in the shadow of fearful leaders who benefit from you being a best kept secret, it’s sad but it happens. Break that mould and reach out to other people and find an internal mentor who can support you and create that safe space for discovery.
Invest in Yourself: Upskill regularly to add more value to your role and stay ahead of the curve, try to upskill for tomorrow not the present. The time it takes to upskill to a standard for now it will already be dated. Do some speculative future mapping
Feedback is Gold: Cultivate a culture where feedback is actively sought and valued. While this may feel like a given, I've noticed it all depends on the leadership your under if this is proactively supported
The debate around "BS jobs" serves as a timely reminder for us to continually assess and redefine our roles. It's a call to action to look in the mirror and ask ourselves some tough questions every now and again who we are, what we do and what the value and impact with have doing our roles as well as what the impact we have if we stoped overnight
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