Mehreen Farhan

A lot has been written about workplace and corporate life. I couldn’t resist the urge to add my words of wisdom to this niche. Let me tell you a story.

Jack Of All Trades was the master of none. He was into IT.

And so, eventually, Jack Of All Trades found himself with extreme work anxiety because in a big company like the IT Company, he was told to do a lot of things at the same time. He developed short attention span because these tasks required time and precision. His boss wanted him to get them all right while piling on more work.

We met up with Jack Of All Trades one day and asked him if he’d like to look back and tell us how he’d like things to change.

Limit excessive multitasking

Managers and team leads want people who can multitask. While this is a good skill to have, it shouldn’t be part of every day work. Jack Of All Trades found himself tiring too soon. Many days he would get home and be completely spent just because he constantly had to manage several tasks simultaneously that day.

The creatives need time

If you asked Jack Of All Trades, multitasking was the number one killer of creativity. How do you expect the creatives to work if they constantly have to divide their attention to five different tasks at a time? Creativity takes its own sweet time. You can either have an army of robots working for you, or you can work with real humans who exhibit real creativity. Jack Of All Trades was becoming a robot.

Slowing down to retrospect

A hard worker wants to stop and give themselves a pat on the back on a job well done. Take that away from them, and you kill the enthusiast in them. Jack Of All Trades complained how one task followed the next, not allowing him to celebrate his own small feats. He was proud of many things he had accomplished, but those well accomplished tasks would often stare back at him like lost children when no one had the time to stop and clap on a job well done.

‘A hard worker wants to stop and give themselves a pat on the back on a job well done. Take that away from them, and you kill the enthusiast in them.’

Appreciation that would have gone a long way

And while we could sit back and give ourselves a clap for a job well done, wouldn’t it be such a good boost to get some appreciation from the bosses? The hundred tasks Jack Of All Trades juggled tirelessly and still managed to give quality work, he deserve a little recognition. He thought an appreciative email would have made him work with more enthusiasm the next time. A little time off to enjoy a cup of tea before running to the next task would be considered a gift.

An appreciative email would have made him work with more enthusiasm the next time…’

Minimize the toxic-people factor in the team

Jack Of All Trades also retrospects on the different ways some toxic elements in the team affected his motivation. Some people were relied upon more than others but that also meant that theirs trustworthy employees got more work also. When Jack started experiencing the beginning of a burnout, he though how the lazy ones had it better. They would work lazily during the 9-5 working hours and still go home with the same paycheck. The management lacked appreciation already so how were the active ones benefitting more than the lazy ones? They weren’t.

This was how the productive members of the team started seeing ways in which the lazy ones were right. They were here for the long haul; they were smart enough to know they wouldn’t last if they frequently experienced episodes of burnouts. And the active ones soon found out they were working like laborers, with no time for self improvement, no time time to relax and no appreciation on their amazing speed.

Protecting your team in front of outsiders

Jack’s boss was under pressure but this pressure was handed down to him and his team mates when the boss didn’t protect them well enough. Since he was a reliable member of the team, work kept piling on and the whole cycle repeated itself again.

Jack Of All Trades eventually developed health issues. The IT Company hired someone else though. Someone fitter than Jack. As it turns out, Jack Of All Trades was indeed the master of none. He couldn’t focus his energies and skills in one direction and so, he ended up with no growth and no expertise.

If you ask us, that was a very big price to pay. Jack Of All Trades could have been master of one, but that chance was taken away from him.

These days, Jack Of All Trades can be found advocating entrepreneurship and screwing out the shameful truths of the corporate world.

The end.

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