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Does this make me a bad employee?


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So I have worked at this new company for 7 months now and I enjoy it. I work in the field and office, about 50/50.

 

I just came back to the office 2 weeks ago from a 5 month job, working 60-70 hours a week. Didn't bother me at all

 

Today, one of my managers asked me if I wanted to go to North Carolina for 3 weeks. I said "sure, when?" He then said today. They need you now. Note it wasn't an order, otherwise I would of gone

 

I was shocked. I didn't know what to say. I said wow that is short notice. I just don't think I can do that. I would totally if they needed me next week

 

He said it won't give me a black mark and it was an emergency fill in for someone else and not to worry about it. Other people in the office were asked and they said no too

 

But the whole day I have felt bad. I have always done everything asked of me, that is how I was raised. It's just that's a lot of travel and getting ready in a short time. Plus I have a lot of things I wanted to do this weekend.

 

What do you think?

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Opportunity to score brownie points, you've passed it up, that's not a tragedy.

 

In that situation I'll typically offer a compromise, asking what the urgency is, telling them that I can, but the soonest I can be ready is xyz (Monday, for instance) and asking if there's anyone available to cover the interim. What I do typically depends on how urgent it really is and whether it's covering someone else's laziness/mismanagement.

 

Don't stress about it.

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It doesn't make you a bad employee. Listen, in today's world, companies use people to meet their needs and there isn't a lot of loyalty anyway. It's not personal. It's work. They pay you and you do work. They can sever ties with you any time. It's unreasonable for them to give such short notice but, hey if your willing to do it, that solves their problem. It's not like you are the one that left them in the lurch.....

 

Don't worry about it.

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That's way too short notice to expect someone to do that. Sure, someone might do it, but as you said, other people said no too. Plus it sounds like you had just been away for awhile? If it was a day trip it might have been more understandable, but THREE WEEKS? I honestly don't think this will change their opinion of you. If they decided they didn't like you over it, they'd have to decide that about those other people who said no as well.

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Thats extremely short notice. Totally reasonable for you to say you'd be happy to go out next week but that you just can't drop everything and leave right now for three weeks.

 

I think you are fine. And if they start expecting things like that of you I'd really reconsider whether it's a place you want to work anyway. I left a previous job that used to do exactly that sort of thing. It was impossible to deal with and still live any kind of life.

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I think you have to balance your work life with your personal life. Sometimes you take one for the team and do what is best for the company. Other times you do what is best for you. It has to be a balance. You can't succeed in both if you always force one to take a backseat to the other. If you always agree to do whatever your bosses request they may start to take it for granted. Assume you have nothing much else going on and it isn't a burden to ask such things of you if you so willingly drop everything else in an instant. Saying no sometimes will make them appreciate the times you say yes. Sometimes you have to put yourself first.

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It depends on the job. I had a situation like that but in an environment where I was basically on call 24/7 and compensated accordingly. I remember being sent on a 3 hour plane ride with 3 hours notice. I ran back to my apartment and packed - didn't even think of saying no. But again it wasn't unreasonable and I signed up for that type of job.

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It depends on the job. I had a situation like that but in an environment where I was basically on call 24/7 and compensated accordingly. I remember being sent on a 3 hour plane ride with 3 hours notice. I ran back to my apartment and packed - didn't even think of saying no. But again it wasn't unreasonable and I signed up for that type of job.

 

Yeah, if you're making the big bucks, sometimes things like that don't seem as bad (well, I would imagine - I haven't actually ever made anything close to the big bucks).

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Yeah, if you're making the big bucks, sometimes things like that don't seem as bad (well, I would imagine - I haven't actually ever made anything close to the big bucks).

 

It's not that it didn't seem "as bad" - it seemed part of my job description albeit a bit unusual (to have to leave town that evening).

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You are fine. But, honestly, I wouldn't have done it for the simple fact that I wouldn't want to set the precedent for them to think they could ask me to take such a short notice assignment regularly. Maybe your boss wouldn't be one to try to take advantage, but some employers...

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You are fine. But, honestly, I wouldn't have done it for the simple fact that I wouldn't want to set the precedent for them to think they could ask me to take such a short notice assignment regularly. Maybe your boss wouldn't be one to try to take advantage, but some employers...

 

If the boss knows people in the industry or an industry the OP wants to get into going the extra mile literally and figuratively could help her tremendously in the future.

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If the boss knows people in the industry or an industry the OP wants to get into going the extra mile literally and figuratively could help her tremendously in the future.

 

Meh, depends on what your priorities are and the industry, I suppose. I've had an experience with such employers and have heard too many "horror" stories where they end up expecting you to be at their beck and call to the point it intrudes in your personal life because you did go that "extra mile" in the way of being so available. I'm cynical about it so I'd rather go that extra mile in other ways.

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Meh, depends on what your priorities are and the industry, I suppose. I've had an experience with such employers and have heard too many "horror" stories where they end up expecting you to be at their beck and call to the point it intrudes in your personal life because you did go that "extra mile" in the way of being so available. I'm cynical about it so I'd rather go that extra mile in other ways.

 

I've heard this too. These days, if a company thinks it can take advantage of you, it will.

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If the boss knows people in the industry or an industry the OP wants to get into going the extra mile literally and figuratively could help her tremendously in the future.

 

True, but the chance of that happening appears to be unfavorable. Everything I've seen myself and heard from the experiences of others appears to indicate that in the majority of cases, extra effort will result in direct remuneration of lesser value than the work put in, emotional remuneration only or the promise of future rewards.

 

Personally, I'd prefer to put my extra effort into expanding and proving my professional worth in terms of technical skills, efficiency and judgement (which all directly affect how much money an employer is able to make out of you) and let employers needs dictate whether they need me or not. I'll take the cash, thanks, and my job is then to make them enough from clients that it continues to be worth them spending it on me.

 

Mercenary? Sure. but I'll never be waiting for the promise of "a step up when the time comes", whatever that means.

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Meh, depends on what your priorities are and the industry, I suppose. I've had an experience with such employers and have heard too many "horror" stories where they end up expecting you to be at their beck and call to the point it intrudes in your personal life because you did go that "extra mile" in the way of being so available. I'm cynical about it so I'd rather go that extra mile in other ways.

 

I wouldn't have accomplished what I did in my career (and been able as easily to be home with my son now) had I not gone the extra mile. And I pay it forward -always remember my colleagues who went the extra mile and later need a reference or other career assistance and help in any way I can.

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In my master's Management course, I was taught that it is times like these where you reply, "I need a raise" and then take the job, if and when you are mentally up to the challenge.

 

Yes, they'll expect you more in these positions in the future, but if you protect yourself in the one place they understand, well, they may be less likely to ask, [we can ask her to go, but she's going to ask for a raise if we send her]. If you are as proficient and valuable as the experience makes you out to be, though, they may be more than willing to recognize your value to their enterprise. They will pay you what you think you are worth...

 

The experience should build your mobility within your field - your contacts are not just those within your home office, but those you meet everywhere you go. But maintaining that network is expensive, often at the expense of personal time.

 

Don't feel bad, though, about taking the time you've earned off!

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I think it depends on the type of job -asking for a raise when it's not that time of year can be tricky or inappropriate and it's also tricky to decide whether the request is really the extra mile or whether they're trying to see if you're up for new challenges. Sometimes the additional experience/resume builder is far more worth it than the $.

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I wouldn't have accomplished what I did in my career (and been able as easily to be home with my son now) had I not gone the extra mile. And I pay it forward -always remember my colleagues who went the extra mile and later need a reference or other career assistance and help in any way I can.

 

But I wasn't suggesting going the extra mile is something one should avoid. I support and try to do this myself within reason. In my post, I referred to the OP's particular context, i.e. employer asking the OP to be available last minute if possible which would have taken a complete disregard from her personal life and plans for an extended period of time. A person can go the extra mile without having to do that. I believe its healthy to keep certain boundaries. For example, if you make yourself available to your employer during your personal off-time, they may start to expect you to be available and do such things such as check your work email at home all the time. You've set yourself up for that expectation and if the employer is the type to start to expect that, it can cause an issue if that's not what you wanted. To extend the example, some industries and jobs expect a person to be available like that, but if not...why do that to yourself?

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I agree it depends on the job, your future goals in that career/industry, etc. If it's a job with set hours then I agree that being available last minute to work after your working hours is above and beyond and there should be acknowledgement of that and an understanding that it's going to be a rare occurrence. If I were the OP and could do the trip I would have and would not stand on principle (while also making sure the employer appreciated it). That's how I was able to advance and be successful in my professional life. Not everyone feels that way of course.

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I wouldn't have accomplished what I did in my career (and been able as easily to be home with my son now) had I not gone the extra mile. And I pay it forward -always remember my colleagues who went the extra mile and later need a reference or other career assistance and help in any way I can.

 

It seems like you used to get kudos for doing things like that before the recession, but after the recession I've noticed a shift in attitude and the employers will just take advantage of you, kind of like Dragunov said in his first paragraph. It's too bad because it demotivates employees to improve themselves, and instead just do a mediocre and adequate job.

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It seems like you used to get kudos for doing things like that before the recession, but after the recession I've noticed a shift in attitude and the employers will just take advantage of you, kind of like Dragunov said in his first paragraph. It's too bad because it demotivates employees to improve themselves, and instead just do a mediocre and adequate job.

 

I lived and worked through more than one recession. I just have a different mindset about being taken advantage of because for most of my adult jobs I had long term goals that included needing excellent references and being able to network even after I left. And from a managerial perspective I preferred working with people who were already self-motivated to do their best - I did my best to be a good manager which includes motivating people but I think adults in a workplace should be mostly self-motivating and have a strong work ethic. I did, even when I worked at a doughnut shop at age 15. I didn't feel that I needed kudos at the time - I saw it as part of longer range success.

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I lived and worked through more than one recession. I just have a different mindset about being taken advantage of because for most of my adult jobs I had long term goals that included needing excellent references and being able to network even after I left. And from a managerial perspective I preferred working with people who were already self-motivated to do their best - I did my best to be a good manager which includes motivating people but I think adults in a workplace should be mostly self-motivating and have a strong work ethic. I did, even when I worked at a doughnut shop at age 15. I didn't feel that I needed kudos at the time - I saw it as part of longer range success.

 

I see what you mean. It just seems like in recent years (like 2009 on), employers have really started to take advantage. I even noticed at my student jobs that they were more appreciative of things I did (by offering opportunities to learn more, advance, etc.) in 2008 and before. Actually in recent years I've increased effort but it seems I have received less opportunity.

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The attitude "the experience makes it worth it" is what has ld to unpaid internships and in turn employers asking unpaid interns to do what should be salaried/waged work.

 

In otherwords, they want us to throw ourselves out there at their feet, and then they're more than happy to take us at our word and not a penny more.

 

Alas, if you hold out, there's a hundred thousand more just like you who will work for less. The employers know this...

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The attitude "the experience makes it worth it" is what has ld to unpaid internships and in turn employers asking unpaid interns to do what should be salaried/waged work.

 

In otherwords, they want us to throw ourselves out there at their feet, and then they're more than happy to take us at our word and not a penny more.

 

Alas, if you hold out, there's a hundred thousand more just like you who will work for less. The employers know this...

 

Yes that's exactly what I've noticed the past three or four years. It probably isn't as noticeable to people who aren't Gen Y or close to it, or are already established in their careers.

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