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Home > Audio, Podcast, Show > If no one cares about your work, why are you doing it?

If no one cares about your work, why are you doing it?

February 28th, 2010

Career Opportunities podcast logoIf no one cares about your work, why are you doing it?
By Douglas E. Welch

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CareerCampLA: Helping to Build the Carer You Deserve

Saturday, March 27, 2010
Northridge, California

A hybrid conference/unconference dedicated to “helping you build the career you deserve”. The day will include scheduled speakers, ad hoc presentations and breakout sessions on all aspects of building your career. CareerCamp is for anyone who wants to build and/or improve their career.

“Oh, no one will care” is a common refrain I often hear when someone isn’t doing their work, or only doing the bare minimum to get by. Some people have come to feel that the only reason they work at all is to take home a paycheck. It’s all busywork with no real purpose. I can tell you, though, that in most cases people do care how you do your work and you will eventually suffer the consequences of performing it badly. Secondly, if you truly believe that no one cares about your work, then you need to ask yourself an even more important question — why are you still doing it?

When we are in the depths of a bad job, it can feel like no one cares. Your boss doesn’t care about anything but the number of claims processed, the number of sales closed, the number of phone calls completed. There is no sense of quality at all. It is only quantity. A focus like this means that many people will do anything they can to keep their numbers up. They will even do things to others that they would be appalled to have done to themselves. When quality is no longer a concern, there is no level to which behavior can fall.

The fact is, though, there are often a lot of people who care about your work and its quality. Irate customers calling about a late or wrong order — members of the public who need your services — even fellow employees of your company who need the information you have. You need to remember these people, and how much they care, no matter what your management might think. You need to do this for your own self-preservation. If you truly think that no one cares, you are in the danger zone. When you stop caring, the end of your job, and maybe even your career, isn’t far off.

This situation takes us directly to the second question mentioned above. If you think no one cares about your work, then why are you still doing it? Some of you will claim that it is the only job you can get, the only way of supporting your family, the only thing you could find in this horrible job market. I understand that this might be true in some cases, but I also believe that it is true much less often than we think. Too often we use this as an excuse to stop trying — an excuse to stop doing the hard work required to build a truly great career.

Of course, the most dangerous part of doing work that no one cares about is that someone might eventually figure out that no cares. It is so much better for you to figure this out first, rather than waiting for others to figure it out for you. Remember, you want to direct your career, not be pushed from one job to another.

If you have the feeling that no one cares about your work — or even if you have hard proof — that should be more than enough of a sign that it is time to stop doing work that no one needs done. Find a career that makes a difference to you and the world.

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