Work Yourself Out of a Job

April 4, 2009 by  Filed under: Management 

This may sound like the worst advice you will ever receive but it is reality: Job security is increased when your mindset is to eliminate your job.

How can that be?   Employees that are actively looking for ways to eliminate the need of their particular responsibilities find creative ways to get the job done quicker, easier, and more productively than previously accepted. They look for redundancies and unnecessary tasks and they seek to find the spot where a task or decision is best made.   This value-add seldom goes unnoticed by a talented supervisor. They see the creativity and positive work ethic geared toward a productive and profitable company.  

Bob House, now president of R G House Group in Acton, Massachusetts, taught this important lesson to me. He told me to always work myself out of a job. Admittedly it was scary at first to adopt a career path toward the unemployment line. Yet as I practiced the theory it soon proved successful. Each time I worked myself out of one job or project, another was waiting for me.  

According to Harvard Business Review, one in four manages at Fortune 500 Companies change roles each year. These are executive with well-rounded resumes touting a broad range of experiences. If their change is voluntary they are having the wonderful option of becoming more well-rounded leaders. However many changes are lateral or downward moves caused by failure to perform at acceptable levels or meet departmental goals.  

Managers that are trying to work themselves out of a job are also frequently changing positions to some degree. Their resume is one of success stories as they eliminate corporate waste.  

So what do you say? Can you figure out a way to work yourself out of a job?

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