The good old hat analogy – your thinking hat, your doing hat, your decision making hat – the list goes on. One of my best friends at a previous job literally had multiple hats.  We would buy him a new hat for each new role he acquired; safety captain – bright yellow hat; IT support – IBM hat; server monitoring – warm hat (those rooms are freezing); designing new bldg. network – hard hat.  You get the picture.

Although most of us do not literally have a hat collection at work, many of us are asked to perform various roles throughout the day.  How do you balance the additional duties that are asked of you?  Are you one to jump in and do whatever is asked of you?  Or, do you feel that focusing on your core skills is where the company gets the most value?

 

Both have their pro’s and con’s.  Who doesn’t want to be the go to person for their boss?

  • Last minute presentation – check!
  • Organize a potluck – got it!
  • Create a safety goal and ensure everyone does it – okay!

Until the requests leave you with no time to do your actual job.  Then what?

Can you be the “that’s not my job” employee?

  • Last minute presentation – that’s not my job
  • Organize a potluck – I don’t take a long lunch break
  • Create a safety goal and ensure everyone does it – really?

As in all things, the key is balance.  Sure, you may be able to add a few responsibilities or odd projects to your to do list, but know when it is distracting you from your true responsibilities as an employee of the company.  If you are the world’s best developer, know when those skills may help out and show that you are a team player by putting together a system to track the safety goal. And if you tackle the potluck project create a well-balanced sign up sheet to make sure you don’t end up with 15 pans of brownies.

And finally, read Caps for Sale.  It is a classic and will show you exactly how to balance all those hats!