Monday, August 1, 2011
When You Shouldn't Compromise at Work
I don't know about you, but I yelled "idiots!" at least once a day when I watched the evening news and saw Congress spatting like a bunch of 5-year-olds over the last several weeks regarding the budget. I mean, I understand everyone has their ideals, but to be unwilling to compromise?
Who doesn't have to compromise?
I compromise every day, and so does every else who has a job. You compromise with a customer over a project's price structure so that you can keep the thing moving. You compromise when you agree to move your vacation dates so your boss can go to her nephew's wedding.
Compromise. It's something we live with every day.
But I got to thinking about where compromise won't work. It won't work when you compromise yourself. (This sounds bad, but hang with me for a moment. This is not THAT kind of blog.)
There are lots of moments throughout your day when you could let something slip. Maybe you don't do a thorough quality check on a product. Maybe you decide to let a mistake slide by, thinking the next person will catch it and correct it. You're tired and you don't give a flip if it gets done wrong.
And that's what I mean by compromising yourself. Because once you let that one little thing slip by -- and no one would know it but you -- then you've become the idiot. When you move your line in the sand because it's easier, you've lost an important part of who you are and where you want your career to go.
Think twice before you turn a blind eye to doing quality work, even if you hate your job, your boss and the ugly suit you have to wear every day. By compromising your own standards, you're dooming your career to mediocrity. Because truthfully? Your lack of personal commitment to doing a good job -- no matter the circumstances -- will come through loud and clear.
How do you keep your own personal standards of doing good work?