- Understand the reality of your job
To do a good job, you need to fully understand
what is expected of you. While this may
seem obvious, in the hurly-burly of a new,
fast-moving, high-pressure role, it is oftentimes
something that is overlooked.
By understanding the priorities in your
job, and what constitutes success within
it, you can focus on these activities and
minimize work on other tasks as much as
possible. This helps you get the greatest
return from the work you do, and keep your
workload under control.
Job Analysis is a useful technique for
getting a firm grip on what really is important
in your job so that you are able to perform
well. It helps you to cut through clutter
and distraction to get to the heart of what
you need to do. And it shows you the tasks
you should try to drop.
This tool takes two forms - the one
in this section assumes that your
organization is already well organized
and that its job descriptions, review
criteria and incentives are well-aligned
and correct. This version of job analysis
is therefore a practical, cut-down
version of the
job analysis tool discussed in
our "Problem Jobs" section.
Using the Tool:
To conduct a job analysis, go through the
- Review formal job documentation:
Understand the organization’s
strategy and culture:
- Look at your job description. Identify
the key objectives and priorities within
- Look at the forms for the periodic
performance reviews. These often show
precisely the behaviors that will be
rewarded and, by implication, show those
that are not respected.
- Find out what training is available
for the role. Ensure that you attend
appropriate training so that you know
as much as possible about what you need
- Look at incentive schemes to understand
the behaviors that these reward.
Your job exists for a reason – this
will ultimately be determined by the strategy
of the organizational unit you work for.
This strategy is often expressed in a
mission statement. In some way, what you
do should help the organization achieve
its mission (if it does not, you have
to ask yourself how secure the job is!)
Make sure you understand and perform well
the tasks that contribute to the strategy.
Similarly, every organization has its
own culture – its own, historically
developed values, rights and wrongs, and
things that it considers to be important.
If you are new to an organization, talk
through with established, respected members
of staff to understand these values.
Make sure that you understand this
culture. And make sure that your actions
reinforce the company’s culture,
or at least do not go against it. Looked
at through the lens of culture, will
the company value what you do?
Check that your priorities are consistent
with this mission statement and the
Find out who the top achievers
are. Make sure you understand why they
Inside or outside the organization,
there may be people in a similar role
to you who are seen as highly successful.
Find out how they work, and what they
do to generate this success. Look at what
they do, and learn from them. Understand
what skills make them successful, and
learn those skills.
Check that you have the people
and resources to do the job:
The next step is to check that you have
the staff support, resources and training
needed to do an excellent job. If you
do not, start work on obtaining them.
Confirm priorities with your
By this stage, you should have a thorough
understanding of what your job entails,
and what your key objectives are. You
should also have a good idea of the resources
that you need, and any additional training
you may need to do the best you can.
This is the time to talk the job through
with your boss, and confirm that you share
an understanding of what constitutes good
performance in the role.
It is also worth talking through serious
inconsistencies, and agreeing how these
can be managed or corrected.
Job analysis is a five-step technique for:
- Understanding and agreeing what you
need to do to perform well in your job;
- Ensuring that you and your boss agree
on the areas you should concentrate on
when time gets tight; and the areas that
can be de-emphasized during this time;
- Making sure that you have the resources,
training and staff needed to do a good
By using the Job Analysis technique, you
should gain a good understanding of how
you can do your job well. You should have
a clearer view of the things that you must
do, and the things that you can drop. And
if, after reviewing your workload you are
still overloaded, it gives you much of the
information you need to negotiate for more
article introduces you to time management...
- To download
this section of Stress.MindTools.Com in
PDF format to use and print at your convenience,
- Read the next article in this series,
and find out more about time
- Find out about clarifying jobs that
appear to be inconsistent with the expanded
version of the Job
- Start using prioritized To
Do Lists as a simple technique for
increasing your effectiveness
- Learn how to get the help you need with
- Want information like this in your In
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