What people often don’t tell you before you get to work is how important all of those things that aren’t part of our job description are.  So people talk a lot about the job description, about what exactly you are going to be doing, but they don’t tell you that there are a lot of other things that you are going to end up doing that have nothing to do with the job that you’re hired to do.  And those things are really critical for getting along with your team, for getting along with your manager and for doing well in the organization. 

For example, if you need to print something and you find that the printer is empty of paper, do you put the paper in the printer or do you call somebody whose job it is to put the paper in the printer?  If you put the paper in the printer, you’re gets done faster, other people’s work gets done faster and people appreciate it.  That’s an extra role behavior.  That’s one of those things that isn’t technically part of your job description, but it’s just one of those things that you do as part of the team, as part of the community within an organization to make everything run more smoothly. 

Those are really critical things to remember to do on the job.  They’ll help you be more successful.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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