I just want to do my job

downloadWhen people would like to say, “That’s not my job,” but are aware of how toxic and uncooperative that sounds, they invoke a close relative of the phrase, saying, “I just want to do my job.”

It sounds reasonable, even assiduous. Stop putting these onerous expectations on her! She just wants to do good work. Who could blame her for being upset?

The trouble is that your jobĀ is done within context. Minding team dynamics, ensuring other team members are successful, focusing on team goals (not just your personal goals) is critical. Individual contributors cannot succeed with their jobs if the team fails. The context is critical to that success, and it is everyone’s job.

There is little room in the economy for isolated players. If your job is so siloed that it truly doesn’t require engagement with the context, then you’re either an irreplaceable genius or, more likely, soon to be replaced.

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