It’s your first day on the job, but the fix is already in.
By the fix, I mean you’ve been promoted or hired for a position that you don’t have the proper tools to perform, so you are bound to fail in your work.
Today, I’m going to help you avoid that fate by deconstructing how the fix happens and how you can stay clear of it.
One: The Fix Is in Because You Lack Proper Tools
Again, being hired for a position you don’t have the proper tools to perform can be the kiss of work death. By proper tools, I mean proper experience, proper schooling, proper mentoring, and/or proper training on the job. I also mean that you may be in an environment that you’re not used to working in; this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be bad when you don’t have support from your boss and/or coworkers to navigate a new work culture.
The Takeaway: Unless you have assurances that your boss and coworkers will provide support to help you succeed, don’t take a job that you are likely to fail in. This doesn’t mean that you would never succeed in that job, but take the time you need to gain the experience that will make you a good fit for it.
Two: The Fix Is in Because You’ve Lied
Have you ever heard the expression, “Fake it till you make it”? Well, some workers take that saying literally. The people who do and act on it are the culprits in their own work demise.
To avoid finding yourself in a work situation where you will likely drown because you never learned how to swim:
- Don’t inflate your accomplishments. Don’t make out your awards or experience to be more than what they really are. “Honorable Mention” is not “First Place.”
- Don’t inflate your experiences. Don’t say you’ve hiked the Grand Canyon when you didn’t.
- Don’t pretend that the master’s degree you earned online was earned on campus in a physical classroom.
- Don’t list friends as references who will lie on your behalf.
- Don’t inflate your GPA.
- Don’t claim a degree that you never earned. If you were one semester off from earning the degree, you didn’t earn it. Claim your school, but make it clear that you “attended” it.
The Takeaway: Of course, you’re not going to say that you were fired on your resume (if you were), but you need to be honest about what you’ve done and your accomplishments. Don’t inflate them, and
Three: The Fix Is in Because Your Workplace Has Set You Up
Sometimes a person is completely honest about their accomplishments and experiences, but the powers that be promote or hire them for a position that is well above their level of expertise. It’s wonderful that they have such confidence in the worker, but sometimes such promotions are made because no one else will take the job (which is a red flag in and of itself).
At any rate, it’s hard to turn most any job down, especially one like this that, presumably, pays better than one your experience properly matches. But look at it this way: Wouldn’t you rather walk away from this job now with your head held high than walk away with your tail between your legs when it doesn’t work out? And if your environment doesn’t offer the proper support for success, the latter is the likely outcome.
Sadly, this is very real and happens in American workplaces across the country every day. Don’t become a statistic.
The Takeaway: It’s nice to get a pay raise and an ego boost when you’re promoted, but neither of these things is worth having if you’re being set up to fail on the job later.
In closing, aim for the job that’s the right match for you at this time in your life and experience. This will give you a good shot at doing careering right.