Did I just say no to extra work?

I started at a new number-crunching day job today.  It was an interesting day, and as first days tend to be, there was an induction, a lot of information to soak in, no computer or access to the systems, and therefore not much actual work completed.

just say noBut my new employer did have one interesting conversation with me.  They are running some training courses in a particular area of the system and they asked me if I would like to attend.  The training day itself would involve several hours of travel, around a normal 9am to 5pm working day, and it is unlikely that I would get either the time in lieu or payment for those hours.  And once I am a ‘superuser’, there would be additional responsibility and hours involved – quite a lot of extra work, in fact.

My initial reaction was to say yes.  Because that’s what you do when your boss asks you to do something, especially something extra.  I also wanted to say yes because we all like to be liked, and by saying yes I guess my boss might like me more, might see me as an enthusiastic, valuable member of the team.  And i wanted to say yes because I was grateful to be seen as someone who they felt warranted investing additional training resources in.  But I didn’t say yes.  I said I’d think about it and let him know.

And I have thought about it.  I have thought about the reason I have taken this role in the first place – it’s close to home, so I have less of a commute and more hours at home, it’s a relatively straightforward role so I can bring my efficiency to the core and ensure I work as close to the core hours as possible and it pays the bills whilst I build up my real vocation into a full-time career.  So actually, saying yes would go against my personal agenda, and would nullify some of the reasons I took on the role in the first place.  And whilst my employer may be disappointed, I know and they know this project is not my core role, they will find someone else who really does want to take it on, and balance will be restored.  Although it is possible that it may affect the way they see me.  But that’s fine, I’m not looking to progress up the career ladder here.  I’ve considered all the options and I’m choosing what’s right for me.

So next time you are asked to do something in addition to your normal work, just take a moment to think about it.  Ask yourself if it really benefits you.  Does it move you further towards your own personal career goals?  Or does it detract from them?  Make your decision based on what’s right for you, not just on what you think people want to hear.  Don’t say yes just for the sake of it.  Be brave – say no to extra work you don’t need to take on!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.