MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

May 25, 2011

Yes I can! (maybe)

Employers love to say how much they want/admire a “can-do” attitude. Not a Yes-man per se. But a person who can take on a challenge (read as hard and thankless work) and get it done.

There is no question that a positive “can-do” attitude is both a sales point in business when applying for a job as well as taking on tasks once on the job. Victory is often won in the mind first before the battlefield.

MasterPo totally agrees with the positive “Yes I can!” point of view. So when a hiring person asks “Can you do this-or-that work?” replying “Yes I can!” is an honest answer (presuming you do in fact have the knowledge and skills to perform the function).


Then you have to take into account all the caveats that come with it.

Can you do the work:

  • Within the budget your provided?

  • With the personnel assigned to your task?

  • With the tools you are given and required to work with?

  • Within the standards and methodologies the employer uses?

  • Within the time frame the employer wants it done?

  • Within the legal and regulatory frame work?

  • While working on 3 or 4 other urgent projects?


In short, once you start adding in all the variables the can-do attitude quickly becomes a maybe-can-do.

That is reality. Nothing is ever cut&dry. But before agreeing to can-do be sure to take into account all these (and more) variables. It’s a great ego boost to think you can take on a tough job and be successful. Maybe you can be. But there are usually variables below the surface you may or may not be aware of at the time.

Look before you leap.


Arsenius the Hermit said...

I once made the appalling mistake of volunteering to handle an important aspect of our business. Everybody and their dog took me up on it and it became one of the most time consuming parts of my job. No one ever said thanks, but plenty whined and complained when things took longer than they liked to complete. Dealing with the Bureau of Land Management and Department of the Interior was not an exact science. I never received any token of gratitude, tangible or otherwise, from the company. The best thing about retiring was knowing they'd have to handle it on their own.

Suburban Survivalist said...

Excellent point on all the constraints. Where I work, all the important people want a product/answer now. Manning reality and overtime rules set in. I have about 25-35 years to retirement, or whenever society collapses.