A Letter to My Future Employer
Updated: Feb 9, 2022
My thoughts are a mixture of my own (which I develop through writing) and other's that I have encountered throughout life. Before reading further you must read this article at the link directly below. Without it you will not have the correct context to translate my further thoughts.
I hope the article by Cal Newport was insightful and inspiring. For me, it is a great illustration of how I think about work. I've worked in my profession for long enough now that my job isn't to necessarily perform the tasks but rather to lead people and make sure task are completed.
If you are my direct supervisor then you will notice that I take the thoughts in the article seriously. This may be frustrating at times. But, I will not let you or I fail in our duty of protecting the well-being of our employees. Simply put, the buck stops with us!
I do not expect the rest of the world to change their attitude about work. They will continually try to eat up our time and our employee's time. But, if you select me as their leader then I will forcefully push back when those people try to bring that attitude into our employee's lives.
I understand there will be times for urgent matters that have to be handled. I will act accordingly to make sure they are completed. However, my thoughts on time sensitive matters (or emergencies) is that they only occur because someone did not plan appropriately. Therefore, I will not be forgiving if they happen frequently from the same people.
You and I will both make mistakes and therefore will create situations where emergencies happen. But, if they also occur frequently then that will act as a signal that we need to work on how we plan and prioritize tasks.
Getting into the crux of the matter, the responsibly to plan for future events and to properly allocate the tasks associated with those events is where we need to be as close to perfect as possible. If you or I fail to do this then I expect us to have honest conversations with each other to help us get better at this difficult task.
As I said before, the buck will stop with us. Or at the very least, with me. I will not stand for stress to flow down through our leadership and then be passed onto the employees under our charge. I will say "NO" often to requests if I do not think they are a good use of our employee's time.
I will demand rigor during our working hours. When we are at work, we will work. The difference is that we will work on the core items that are important to our jobs and we will also allocate time towards tasks that are related to personal growth. We will discard anything that we deem unnecessary or that is not worth our time.
I believe that people have amazing skills outside of their regular jobs and it is a failure upon a large majority of organizations to not let people put those skills/passions into projects at work. They may create amazing things if they are provided opportunity. We will only interrupt this time if it is a true emergency.
I do not believe it is the duty of an employer to make someone's life easy per se. It is the job of the employer/leader to create an environment where people can grow at a sustainable level. This requires people to be put in situations where they are uncomfortable at times; but not so much that they are not able to handle it.
This balance is a delicate dance that not many people can get right. However, if I work for you then it will be my absolute passion to dance that dance as perfectly as I can. I will expect you to be my partner in this endeavor. We will make sure that we are doing the best we can to support our junior colleagues. I will demand perfection of us even though I know it isn't possible to ever get there.