Too close to the work.

My job is challenging in a way that is different than I ever expected: I have to choose to do the work, or to pass the work off.

That doesn’t seem like a difficult decision, but it is. At the end of the day, customer happiness is my goal. What makes people happy? Speed for one. Have you ever been mad about a webpage loading too fast? Have you ever been made at a call back that came too quick? Instant gratification is a thing for sure.

That creates a struggle for a few reasons:

  • I’m the one talking to the customer and have the best understanding of what they are looking for.
  • I have the technical knowledge needed to help them.
  • If I pass this off to someone else, then there will be a delay due to coordinating time and understanding.

Here’s the thing though, in my position I’m scheduled pretty far out. I’m on a treadmill metaphorically. I can do this work and have some time allotted for it, but not much time to highly produce it like some coworkers. At times I find myself crafting responses that would be better turned into in-depth blogs or videos because I’m looking for speed, but in that speed, I’m actually missing opportunity.

I’m a bit too close to the work at times. I sometimes think this is why people good at management don’t have the technical skills of the people being managed. There is no choice to do it, they have to pass it off to someone else. Ultimately, I think a boss that knows your skillset is great empathetically, but can be a struggle for them to delegate effectively.

Every time you are working on something, it would be beneficial to ask, “Is this going to help someone else?” If so, perhaps a little less speed now means that you’ll be faster in the future by investing in a more scalable version to share. Or at the very least if you can respond now, then pass it over to someone to craft a better produced version that would be beneficial for future responses is a great opportunity. However, like most ideas, this is simple in concept and hard in execution as once there are too many tasks on your plate, passing the idea over the wall is an extra task that’s not immediately beneficial and gets dropped.