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Work Yourself Out Of a Job

Posted by | February 26, 2015 | Advice, Career

Via LinkedIn :┬áSome of the best advice I ever received was simply what’s in the headline. I was recently reminded how great the advice was when I repeated it to a friend, and that friend responded like I did when I first heard the concept.

Why is this advice so good? Well it’s filled with hope, purpose, and yeah – hard work. All of these things are very, very valuable. We all seek hope and purpose. I believe these are supplied to us by God, but they play out in our everyday lives, as we love, live, play, and work. Below, I’ll share very briefly how the great advice I received from someone I hold in esteem delivers on hope and purpose, and how hard work fits into the equation.

If you decide to work yourself out of a job, you’re naturally going to have to do so well at your current job that two things occur:

  • you get really great at your current job; so great that everyone around (and above) you sees that you likely have more capacity to be given more responsibility and to deliver results at another level
  • you do your job so well, and you communicate and involve others around you so well, that you begin to prepare others to emulate you, and thus step into the role that you’ve just worked yourself out of – ahhh, you’ve done something very important – you’ve helped someone else progress, and you’ve created your replacement.

So, how does hope play into this? Well, maybe you feel that you don’t want to always do what you’re doing now. Maybe you want more. Maybe you’re getting a little tired of something you’ve mastered, or are close to mastering. If that’s the case, then you can have hope that more is out there, because you are going to exhibit that you’re capable of, and deserve, more. This leaves you in a high level of control over your own destiny, and seeing that you are not powerless, just waiting on a company or a boss, really does create a level of ownership, even hope for more.

What about purpose? Purpose is knowing where you want to go and what you have to do to get there – this is very inspiring and can motivate us, even in the most unmotivated times in our lives. Purpose really occurs when you plan out the next few years of where you want to go, and you also put a plan in place for going there. Hey, maybe the job hasn’t even been created, purpose yourself, hold yourself accountable, build the case, and work yourself out of a job, and guess what – that’s where new roles or promotions come from.

A couple of things to remember as you embark on this exciting venture:

1. working in a flat organization, where the job that you want doesn’t yet exist, does NOT mean that the job CANNOT be created. Companies want people with vision and capabilities to deliver; most of them, if they see these qualities, will listen to the ideas of those who possess these qualities. You may be ahead even, because if there is no job, there is no competition!

2. hard work is required. this needs no explanation

3. make sure you are mentoring, or at least sharing, what you do well with people who want to learn – this takes away the hard work required for your boss to replace you, and takes down another barrier to your success; oh, and by the way, it’s nice to help and see others succeed

Never believe you cannot become excellent, and never believe you cannot progress. If you cannot where you are, find a new place, but, I will bet that most places where we find ourselves are seeking leaders who have this very goal – to work ourselves out of a job.

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