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If you want to improve and enhance your ability, it's important to understand the responsibilities your job requires. If you are not employed at the moment, you can still learn from this video to help you prepare for your next position. Ability and responsibilities go hand in hand. You use your abilities to fulfill the responsibilities your employer expects. Think of it like ordering a pizza. If the pizza arrives and the toppings are missing, or if toppings are included that you didn't ask for, you are going to be a little surprised and probably upset.
It's the same with your employer or customers. They have a list of responsibilities, either written or in their head, for you to do. If you're going to deliver what they expect, it's critical to understand those responsibilities as clearly as possible. How do we discover those expectations so we know what the job responsibilities are? There are three sources where we can get this information. The first is the job description, which is a documented list of all the things you're expected to do in your position.
If your employer hasn't already provided something like that, you might ask them if they'd be willing to create a written job description to help you perform better. A second source for discovering your job responsibilities is to ask your employer directly. I suggest you do this even if there is a written job description. This way you can verify that the written document matches the unwritten expectations. Employees are often expected to do things that aren't written anywhere.
These assumed responsibilities have been passed down verbally from work generation to work generation. Without a written document, responsibilities can be forgotten over time. The third source of information about your responsibilities takes a little more work, but it's well worth it. It requires tracking what you're actually doing in your workday. This may not seem exciting, but it yields incredible benefits. We've provided a worksheet that you can download to track your work responsibilities.
Usually one sheet per day is enough, but feel free to make as many copies as you need. The worksheet is simple. Whenever you start an activity, such as making calls to current customers, note the time you start, and what activity you're doing. Now look for a match between your written or verbal job responsibilities and the activity you're doing and put a yes or no in the Match column. If calling current customers is a responsibility in your job description, then put a Y for yes.
But what if you've been asked to organize a department meeting, and that activity doesn't match the job description. In this case, you will put an N there for no. Through this process, you'll start to uncover hidden job responsibilities. These are the things that you are doing which may not actually be your responsibility. Being clear about your responsibilities lets you focus on improving the abilities that will help you do a better job. This exercise will help give you that clarity.
After tracking your progress for 2 weeks, take the list of all the Nos to your manager, and ask something like, do you want me to add these to my job description, or is there someone in a different position that should be doing these? Clarifying with your manager after completing the worksheet will help you both be even more clear about your responsibilities. By going through this process, you'll get a better understanding of what your company expects from you, and you'll learn the areas where you can improve your ability.
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