‘That’s Not My Job’ – The Attitude That Destroys Your Career

If you have ever been in an office environment for more than a day you surely know how it’s like to deal with the guy who’s always rejecting to get things done, hiding behind the phrase – “That’s not my job”.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that this type of employee will not get the promotion.

A recent study showed that this approach is one of the most common habits that are slimming one’s chances of advancing on the corporate ladder. You have to admit that it’s frustrating when dealing with this type of employee, who is there to do the bare minimum required and pick up his paycheck at the end of the month. Those are the people who will not take on any extra work necessary to improve their position at the company. There are situations when everybody has to take one for the team and do the “dirty” part of a task. This is what being a part of the team means. And remember that maybe next time you will need your co-worker to pull things through for you.

We may be simplifying things, as accepting every task that’s being thrown your way is a one way ticket to a mental breakdown.

In all truth, we all have to set firm boundaries at the workplace. You have your job, and your tasks and responsibilities are clear. You are not here to do the dirty work of your colleagues who would rather burden you with their tasks than make an effort. And besides, some things are really not a part of your job description and your responsibility is to set reasonable boundaries.

So, the question is – how to set reasonable boundaries without looking uninterested and unmotivated to help your co-workers?

Here is some advice:

1. Pick Your Battles

If you have the time and knowledge to help a colleague of yours – by all means do it. Remember that you’re doing that person a favor, but don’t expect that the favor will be returned every single time.

2. Set Boundaries For All The Right Reasons

It’s ok to say “no” at the workplace. But there are good reasons for saying no (e.g. you are flooded with work, or you are not qualified for that particular task), and there are bad reasons (e.g. it’s not your job and you don’t want to do it).

When declining to give a helping hand, make sure you’re doing it for all the right reasons, not because you just don’t feel like doing it. If you are unable to help, provide a reasonable explanation and don’t make one up.

3. Set Reasonable Boundaries At The Workplace

The dumbest thing you can say at the workplace is “That’s not my job”. That’s sounds like a seven-year old rejecting to help around the house. This kind of attitude doesn’t help you and it doesn’t help your co-workers.

Instead, show a sincere will to help out. If you are unable to help, offer a solution and give a couple of ideas that could help your co-workers get the job done without you.

4. Seize The Opportunity

If you’re constantly doing tasks which are not a part of your job description, take it to the boss. If you’re doing the heavy-lifting, maybe you should be rewarded – with a promotion, a raise, or some free days would be nice too.

When you’re doing the talk, might as well discuss about your future at the company, your readiness to take on more tasks and obligations and you’re overall significant contribution to the companies long term goals. Cash in those extra hours!