Everyone’s job, regardless of their professional level, can be divided into three parts. These parts are must-dos, hired-to-dos and want-to-dos.
Everyone’s job, regardless of their professional level, can be divided into three parts. These parts are named:
The must-dos portion of your job are those things that you get no credit for doing, but if you don’t do them you will have problems. Generally speaking, they are thought of as the lower end of your job responsibilities. Examples of must-dos if you are in a manager’s role include activities such as writing employee performance reviews, formulating and tracking your annual department budget, and writing monthly status reports. All of these activities are extremely important and must be done well. In fact, if they are done poorly, there are major downside consequences. That said, upon their completion, it is unlikely that your boss will come running down to your office and thank you for the great job you did.
The hired-to-dos portion of your job are those job responsibilities that you were primarily hired to perform. For example, if you are an accounts payable manager, it’s your job to be sure that all of the company’s bills are paid on time. As a second example, if you are a project manager, it’s your responsibility to assure that the projects being worked on within your team are completed on time and within budget. It’s this hired-to-dos component of your job responsibilities that will be most heavily judged from a performance perspective.
The want-to-dos portion of your job are those things that provide you with personal career growth by teaching you new skills, providing visibility to upper management, and/or allowing you to demonstrate competency in new areas. As a manager, examples of want-to-dos may be speaking at a national conference, making a presentation to your company’s senior management, covering for your boss when he/she is out of the office or leading a cross-department company initiative.
Let’s now expand this concept beyond you personally and include your staff and your manager. The low end of your job, the must-dos, are, in many cases, the high end of the job for those who work for you. For example, as a manager, you must review your department’s budget on a monthly basis. Because this budget review is part of your responsibility you will get it done, but you know that doing so keeps you from doing your hired-to-dos and your want-to-dos. For a member of your staff who wants to become a manager, however, reviewing the budget is the high end of his/her job. Now, consider the beauty of this concept and the win-win that it provides. If you delegate the monthly budget review to this staff member you will have the following wins:
- Win No. 1 - You have removed a must-dos from your plate giving you more time for your hired-to-dos and want-to-dos.
- Win No. 2 - You are providing career growth to a member of your staff by allowing him/her to review the budget. After all, for your staff member, reviewing the budget is a want-to-dos.
Now let’s expand this concept upward from you to your boss. Comparing your manager’s have-to-dos with your want-to-dos can provide you great insight on how to move ahead professionally by volunteering to help your manger perform items that he/she view as just required tasks, but provide career growth opportunities for you. This process is also a win-win, but now for you and your manager.
- Win No. 1 - You get to perform tasks on your want-to-dos list that provide you with career growth.
- Win No. 2 - You become viewed by your manager as a self-starter and someone who is willing to take on additional responsibilities.
- Win No. 3 - You are freeing up some of your manager’s time to work on his/her hired-to-dos and want-to-dos.
The primary advice and takeaways from today’s column is to know that:
- All jobs can be divided into three parts; things you must do, things you were primarily hired to do and those things you would like to do for professional growth.
- Knowing the three job components of your staff can help you in the delegation process.
- Knowing your manager’s three job components can help you move ahead professionally.
Until next time, manage well, manage smart and continue to grow.
Eric P. Bloom, based in Ashland, Mass., is the president and founder of Manager Mechanics LLC. He is also a nationally syndicated columnist, keynote speaker and author of the award-winning book “Manager Mechanics: Tips and Advice for First-Time Managers.” Contact him at eric@ManagerMechanics.com, follow him on Twitter at @EricPBloom, or visit www.ManagerMechanics.com.