The Richmond Register

October 26, 2013

Tired of hearing the excuse, ‘It’s not my job’?

By Jennifer Napier
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — You’re walking through the break room and notice that someone left their garbage on the break table. You glance at it, but do nothing about it as you make your way back to your work station.

You think to yourself “how disgusting” and “that's not my job to pick up someone else’s trash.”

Later that same day, you take documents to the shredder and realize the shredder is full. You think, “I don't have the time to empty it. I'll come back after someone else has cleaned it.”

During your afternoon break, you visit the restroom and realize the toilet paper and paper towels needs restocked. As a matter of fact, if the next person needs more than two squares of toilet paper, they may have to resort to other methods for clean-up.

You think, “I should probably at least change the toilet paper, but it’s the janitor’s job to restock the restrooms, not mine.” So you leave and make a mental note to put a few tissues in your pocket, just in case you need to use the restroom again before you head home.

After work, you notice the wind has blown some trash across the parking lot, and now you have a plastic bottle and some candy wrappers pinned to the side of your tire. You look at the garbage and think, “Someone should clean it up, but it won’t be me because it’s not my job.”

A strong work ethic and taking pride in a job well done never begins or ends with the phrase, “It's not my job.” That phrase is the indicator of someone who looks to constantly blame others and create excuses. It is also the phrase used by poor leaders and poor role models, who would rather avoid a challenge than attempt to conquer it or follow it through to completion.

The workforce is full of individuals who want higher pay, elevated career opportunities, quality benefits, and automatic pay raises regardless of the quality of their work, or the quantity they produce.

These individuals also expect their employers to bear the burden of the cost for all of these items.

Employers do not exist to provide charitable employment, they exist to produce a product or service while making a profit. They want to hire individuals who are self-motivated and willing to work, not those who create excuses for why they can't work.

If you are serious about achieving the next level in your career, take the initiative to complete the tasks that others try to avoid.

When you demonstrate to others that you care about your job, your co-workers, and your customers, there is a positive energy that is created. This energy attracts people to you, including employers.

It is a much more motivating and happier world when we hear the words, “I'll take care of that” or “Let me help you,” rather than the selfish and self-centered phrase, “It’s not my job.”