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Friday, March 02, 2007

Playing "the enforcer" could put your career at risk

Career Opportunities podcast logoIn the typical corporation, you will find many people whose main role is that of "The Enforcer." Project managers who enforce project timelines, human resource staffers who enforce work policies, union representatives who enforce labor agreements and even IT workers who enforce company standards, approved hardware, software and password policies. While, in most cases, all of these items need policing and enforcing, playing the role of the enforcer could be damaging to your career as a whole.

Next Friday: March 9, 2007: Does your company respect for your work?

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At 1:16 PM, Blogger Douglas said...

Richard Gordon, a Career Opportunities reader, emailed me with this great comment on this column...

Mr. Welch,

I have been an enforcer for most of my 30 year career in the Defense Industry. I do not totally agree with your article "The Enforcer".

I my case, I have to maintain compliance to Government and Company criteria in the way business is conducted. I agree this can be a difficult and frustrating situation when you do not have the backing of Management. As an individual, you have too believe you are helping your company to do business in a better way. If I look at myself as an enforcer I would fail at my job, I would burn out very quickly.

There are many ways to approach being an enforcer. In my early days, I did use the hammer too often. Then I learned with experience it is best to never make someone wrong, but to show them a better approach to the current situation and also be compliant with existing criteria. I have used this approach for many years and have developed the trust and respect of my Management, co-workers and Government. I now have Management and co-workers call with a non-compliant situation and request help with the correction.

I have had an exciting, enjoyable, and fruitful career as an Enforcer.

Richard Gorden


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