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?



Anonymous said...

This was beautiful and very thought-provoking.keep them coming!!
Sorry Apology Letters

EjM said...

I'm definitely not shy about speaking my mind. In fact, I was the office bully in my younger years. I've learned .. or maybe I'm learning to take cues from my co-workers and team mates and and notice when I'm being a little aggressive. On the flip side, I have learned to actively listen. Boundaries work both ways. It's nice to offer people the opportunity to feel a sense of empowerment and leadership. Great post, I'm reposting on our Twitter feed @jpatrickjobs

Anita said...

Elissa Jane,
Your honesty is refreshing. Not many people would admit to being a bully, but I admire the way you're trying to learn and grow and become a better listener. Hopefully, your actions will inspire others who have made some missteps to do the same. Thanks for the Twitter feed.