Friday, December 12, 2003

Nicole was talking about work and how with greater experience comes a much better ability to do your job coupled with hugely improved productivity. Which I agree with except there is one little problem to doing a good job :- it has absolutely no effect on promotion or reward.

Ability and concientiousness are fairly irrelevant. Provided you can get into work for 10.30 3 days out of 5 and not throw fireworks across the office all day you'll be OK. The best way to progress is by being noticed. It makes hardly any difference if you're noticed for being a deviant religious maniac, Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel or just an aggressive little know nothing arse-wipe. Trust me it doesn’t matter. If you just do your job really really well no one will ever notice you – why would they? Here’s a tip. When you have a new task think of a really great way to do it –should take about 5 minutes. Then go and see your boss. Complain about the task a bit, but in a positive ‘can do’ way. Say you’re having difficulty encompassing the outline possibilities or some such crap. Ask your boss if they have any ideas how to do it? Agree with everything they say, and introduce your own ideas as if they were their own. By the time you’ve agreed on your original plan your boss should believe at least 50% of it was her own idea. This conversation should take exactly 45 minutes. Go and do the job. Then email everyone including your boss’s boss telling them what a good job you’ve done, having first discussed it with Linda/Terry/Brian.

If you’d just gone ahead and done it, then whoopee doo – what d’you expect? A medal? My way you get to look like a genius worker, your boss gets to look like a caring sharing can do empowerer and everybody knows about it – brownie points all round. This us just one example of how you can do your job in an annoying fucked up way and get way more rewarded for it than just doing the best job you can do.

Of course the very best way to get promoted without doing anything is just to be on a whole bunch of committees. When memos go out for these always volunteer. Junior brown-nosers may well wonder how they can get their work done as well as attending all these gas passing, jaw breaking, yawn fests but fear not. Although the first few months may be tough going you’ll soon be able to turn real work down on the grounds that you have to write a report for the Cross Divisional Manufacturing Process Review Team. (BTW you can just make this sort of stuff up if you’re cocky – who could ever be bothered to check - but you don’t have to, Show some pride in your work and make every piece of puffed up nonsense make-work a real piece of puffed up nonsense make-work). In no time your boss will have a contractor in covering the shortfall and when that promotion comes up you’ll be number 1 because a) You’re the office hot-shot b) You’re practically doing the job already c) The boss can get someone in full time to replace you and fire that pesky contractor.

There is of course the danger that you might actually be forced to take point at some time during your greasy climb up the corporate ladder. Should this happen – don’t panic. Just move companies and let someone else worry about it. Alternatively operate as a rubber bander – move to a temporary (6 months) assignment and turn the whole department on it’s head. Continuously tell everyone what a great job you’re doing and what a radical drop-dead kick-ass leader of men you are. And just before the shit hits the fan you’re snapped back to your home department and someone else is left holding the baby. Fantastic eh?

Don’t believe any of this is true than have a good long look at your bosses. Where are their glittering successes, their wunderkind projects that came in under budget ahead of schedule and really worked? Can’t find it? That’s because your boss isn’t any better than you or Cletus down the corridor. Your boss just has a few skills you don’t have yet – 1) Appropriating other people’s work as their own 2) Rubbishing other people’s successful projects 3) Talking crap and getting away with it.

So in summary I’d say the following about career progression. Don’t waste your time ‘doing’ when you could be ‘talking’. Just walk round all day saying ‘I’m brilliant me. I’m the best there is and you’d better believe it.’ If it worked for Bush with Al-Quaida and Iraq there is NO WAY it won’t work for you and Internal Affairs. Why work for a living when you could boss for $$$?

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