5. Being Perpetually Available
Chances are, your current employer values face time—that is, how much time you’re in the office, working away at your desk. And when you aren’t face-to-face, you’re accessible by phone, email, text or carrier pigeon, whether it’s midnight, midnight on Saturday, or midnight on Saturday during your trip to Ibiza.
“When you’re refusing to delegate responsibilities it shows that you aren’t a teacher or mentor, and certainly not a supervisor, which is criteria for promotion,” says Bruce Hurwitz, executive recruiter and author of “Success! As Employee or Entrepreneur.” And when you don’t take vacation, he says, it can create an air of superiority—like you feel nothing can get done without you.
“People make the mistake of being too available because they don’t know how to say no,’” says Hurwitz. “They think the person they are rejecting will be mad at them, and it will affect their relationship.” But, he adds, this isn’t necessarily the case. If you’re perpetually available and looking to break the cycle, Hurwitz recommends starting with a “conditional yes,” where, upon hearing about a new assignment, you reply, “I’d be happy to. Just let me get this job done, and if you still need my help, I’m there for you.”
Of course, no one is recommending you skip out on your work, and it’s likely that there will be occasions you’ll have to be available outside the office. But delegating tasks to be completed without your direct oversight, or even in your absence, is a skill every manager—or would-be manager—should have.
-Written by Libby Kane
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