Work Yourself Out of a Job

Has anyone in your management structure ever told you that if they could just clone you 4 or 5 times the company would be worry free? That is great feedback. You have earned yourself many years of job security. In fact you might say you’ve made yourself so indispensable at your current position, you’ll never be able to grow out of it.


For a lot of professionals in the world that’s exactly the position they want to be in. Joe is the best administrator BigCo Corp has ever had. No issues with any of the servers under his care. His management gets a little nervous when he takes a vacation because there is no one else who can do what he does the way he does it. Management doesn’t want to add any new variables to the mix and Joe will never be burdened with management training, team building, Agile methodology, mentoring, or other distractions. Likewise, Joe isn’t really all that motivated to share his expertise, both because he doesn’t like trying to explain what he does to others, and because he’s worried about losing some of his organizational expertise currency.


If you’re like Joe, read no further, because we’re going to talk about Sally. Sally, another administrator at BigCo Corp, likes having uninterrupted vacations. She has back filled her own position by training a few of her colleagues to do support her when she needs a break. Sally has taken the time to create process and systems documentation and publish it where others can reference it. Management notices that Sally can take care of her normal duties and build a team to add more redundancies to the processes. Management decides to send Sally to team building and management training. Sally becomes Joe’s new boss.


More than once in my career I worked really work and waited for my supervisors to recognize my talent and give me that promotion to management. I gotten the “Clone you” comment many times and sat on it. It took some advice for a mentor to open my eyes to the power of creating your own opportunities. You may not be able to personally improve the company’s bottom line and create more revenue that results in more growth and upward movement opportunities. If you do a great job, create a backfill for yourself and haven’t made yourself a pariah in your organizations politics, there’s a great chance you’ll get top consideration when an opportunity does show up.