- Understand inconsistencies within your
Stress Management from Mind Tools
We have already
looked at a simple form of the Job Analysis
tool that focused on understanding how to
do a well-designed job
Version 2 (this version) of the Job Analysis
tool looks at jobs that have not been so
well designed. These jobs may have been
created with little thought, may have evolved
in a chaotic manner, or may be incorrectly
structured after strategic changes within
the organization. "Job Analysis (2)"
gives an expanded framework with which you
can challenge the job and identify the inconsistencies
that may lie within it.
This is important, because by understanding
and aligning the priorities in your job,
you can focus on the important activities
and minimize effort on other activities
as far as possible. This helps you get the
greatest return from the work you do, while
keeping your workload under control.
Job Analysis is a useful technique for
getting to grips with the reality of what
is important, so that you are able to perform
excellently. It helps you to cut through
waffle and inaccuracy to get to the heart
of the job.
This is particularly important in a job
that is not consistently structured: It
is extremely frustrating to have worked
hard at what you thought was important,
only to find that your work is being assessed
on different criteria. It can also be intensely
stressful to be pulled in different directions
by inconsistent or conflicting demands.
Using the Tool:
To conduct a full job analysis, go through
the following steps:
- Review the formal documentation
on the job:
- Look at the most recent job description
that exists. Identify the key objectives
within the job description and the
priorities identified within it.
- Look at the forms for any periodic
performance reviews. These should
show precisely the behaviors that
will be rewarded, as well as those
that will be punished.
- Find out what training is available
for the role. Ensure that you attend
appropriate training so that you know
as much as possible about your role,
and any expectations of you in this
- Look at any incentive schemes to
see the factors that these are geared
- If any of these are not available,
write down what you believe the roles,
responsibilities, objectives and performance
criteria to be. You should then work
through these with your boss.
- Understand the Organization’s
Your job will exist for a reason, and
this will be determined by the strategy
of the organizational unit you work for.
This 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!)
Look at the way in which your objectives
contribute towards the mission. These
should be major objectives of your job.
If they are not, make a note of this.
- Understand the Organizational
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
Ask yourself which objectives fit with
these values. Do they reinforce the
company’s culture, or do they
go against it? Looked at through the
lens of culture, will the company value
what you do?
Check that your priorities are consistent
with the company culture. Make an appropriate
note if they are not.
- Find out who the top achievers
are, and understand why they are successful:
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
- Understand where your career
could go from here:
If you find, as you work through this,
that little thought has been put into
the design of your job, chances are that
career progression from this position
has not been considered.
While we look at managing your own
career progression in the next
article, you need to ensure that
you are sensibly placed for a next career
move. If this is not obvious, then this
should be a matter of serious concern.
Make a note of this, and ensure that
it is clarified.
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
that you think are needed to do the
job well. If you do not, make a note
of this, as well.
- 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 any
lack of clarity in objectives or lack
of resource, or of discrepancies and inconsistencies
between what you believe your job to be,
and the realities of the situation. These
have the potential to undermine you in
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. Also, talk through
the inconsistencies in the job. Make sure
that you resolve these in a satisfactory
way. If you do not, these inconsistencies
may undermine your position in the future
This second form of Job Analysis is a seven-step
- Understanding your job and how to achieve
peak performance in it;
- Ensuring that your job is consistent
with corporate strategy and corporate
- Ensuring that you have agreed with
your boss the areas you should concentrate
on when time gets tight, and the areas
that can be de-emphasized; and
- Ensuring that you have the resources,
training and staff needed to do a good
By using the Job Analysis tool, you should
flush out any major issues or hidden problems
with your current job. You should also understand
exactly how to do your job excellently.
article helps you take charge of your