GNcareers, from Gulf News

Do-it-all attitude may hurt career prospects

Do-it-all attitude may hurt career prospectsImage Credit: Supplied

In many work situations, getting something done yourself is much easier and quicker than asking an assistant or support staff member to do it. Although this do-it-all attitude may appear to save you time, it can be taking a toll on your overall career and causing concerns with your supervisors.

The time you spend in distractions and tasks that do not require your level of skill and experience can be better channelled in improving your job performance, seeking education opportunities or simply taking a big-picture view on where you can develop and advance. In addition, if you appear to be unable to manage your time and delegate, you may not be representing yourself as a good fit for a management position.

Yes, it often takes some training — and frustration — to get support staff up to speed, but building a strong team is something that can help you in the long run. When you have efficient support staff, they can handle many of the minor job requirements and free you up to focus on what really requires you capabilities. In addition, those job tasks become their responsibilities, which means they probably will be more focused on finding efficiencies there, as well.

If you still think delegation is not necessary, and you have the power and time to handle everything yourself, think of the following.

Employer resources

If the employer provides you with one assistant or more, this is a clear indication that you need to delegate some secondary tasks to others. If you appear reluctant to do so, this is a waste of the employer resources and a bad indication about your managerial skills. You may think that you are getting all your job duties done and more, but in reality you may be missing out on the potential work that can be done if you let go of those smaller tasks.

In addition, employers want to see their staff trained and provided with opportunities to learn and grow. If you're not participating in this effort, you are simply working against the employer's bigger plans and goals set for those staff members — something that is probably unwelcome at best.

Similarly, if your support staff members are junior to you and you're expected to mentor them, doing everything yourself may not give them to grow in their positions. You may be perceived as insecure as to your job or success. Either way, your goal of getting things done quicker may be working against you as an employee, manager and mentor.

Your job description

Spending a bunch of time handling minor tasks may seem a good break from the highly stressful job duties that make up the bulk of your day. Although you may appear to be giving yourself a deserved break, others may view this as wasting time — especially if you have support staff members standing by to handle these matters.

Pay attention to what your job description and goals indicate. The more you stay focused on achieving your goals — and beyond — the more likely that you will find yourself moving away from wasting time and resources on others' tasks. From an employer's point of view, you need to be doing tasks equivalent to your pay scale.

Cross training

Employers worry about managers and staff members who control too many of the work procedures in their hands and don't share their knowledge. The risks of losing these key staff members can be devastating for the employer. It is always encourage to have them share and train their staff on the various job tasks so they can cover for them in case of an emergency or even grow to take their position later if they move on or resign.

If you think that some of the smaller tasks are not really critical to that extent, think of these details: Who else in your office knows the location of main files and folders, who has access to shared passwords and, generally, who can cover fully for you if you're forced to be out of the office by an emergency. If the answer is no one, you're holding too much critical information in your hands. This may give you a false sense of importance. But, for an employer, it is certainly a cause of concern.

Delegate and train

— To free yourself up for growth

— To show your ability to train and mentor

— To help your employer's goals for other staff

— To ensure continuity in case of an emergency

Find out how to get to your dreams one inch at a time

Source: Rania Oteify, Special to

The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor