Are you a MVE(most valuable employee) or a bench warmer when you're needed most?
In honor of last weeks Super Bowl and in reference to the extremely long week I had, is it fair for your employer to ask you to put in extra hours and to go above and beyond during crunch time?
No matter what industry you are in, we have all been there. Whether it's scheduled or something unexpected, everyone has had long weeks at work. The question is, is it fair for your employer to expect this from you?
My answer is yes, it is completely fair and expected of me. Using sports as an example, everyone on the team has a role to play, and if anyone isn't performing to expectations; the game could be lost. The same goes for the working world. The difference is, is the 'game' could be solving a problem, releasing a new product on time, or closing a deal with a client.
This past week was one of those weeks for me. Getting into the office on Monday, I already knew my schedule was full with meetings and actions I had to complete by the end of the week. Monday ended without any issues, and everything was on track. On Tuesday, I was in transit on my way to a half day meeting when my inbox started blowing up. One of our customers was having a large outage, which was effecting their production network. By the time I got to the customer, after finishing my earlier meeting, our support team was on the phone and had already solved one of their problems. The bigger issue was that there was a domino effect. Solving our problem revealed an even larger problem within their network. For the rest of the week, we worked through finding the root cause, restored all services, and highlighted a problem with another vendor's product. All of this, and none of my other meetings were rescheduled and everything that was scheduled was finished by Friday.
Now this isn't the first high priority problem I have had to fix, we all of had unexpected problems that needed immediate attention. One thing that I noticed this time though is people's emotional state. You could really tell by the way other's were speaking and acting that they didn't want to be there, and as a result they provided no insight or help in resolving the issues.
It's funny how fast you can work through problems when you remove emotions (frustration, resentment, anger, etc). When you are working through an extra task, don't waste brain power resenting your employer for asking you to do it in the first place. Instead, focus on the task at hand, get it done, and then reflect. You'll be amazed at how fast you finish and how professional you look doing it.
If the question isn't should you expect to put in extra time when needed, then what's the question?
The real question is how often does crunch time happen? This is a personal question that only you can answer.
So, will you rise to the occasion and be someone your employer can count on, or are you going to be on the sidelines warming up the bench?