Is your job setting you up to fail?

job payroll comic

I often see working in IT that in many businesses companies seem to set people up to fail.

Why do I say this? I see people being expected to work with equipment that doesn’t have the resources to do the job. The machines repeatedly crash and once I bought more RAM the crashing stopped. The ram cost $30 and the lost time and wages were far more than that. In every job I have seen people being asked to work with machines that could not do the job they were told to do. They didn’t want to ask for the tools they needed.

I recognize this problem and have always approached decision-makers when it is time to buy a new machine. Often this has been a difficult conversation since companies rarely want to spend money. However, when people leave because they can’t do their jobs effectively, that has a cost as well. Ultimately healthy organizations want to keep their employees happy.

Looking back on my career there were jobs that I have held management didn’t seem to care if I succeeded or failed. I myself have faced problems with resources. I was hired at one company and not given a computer. I was left on my own to find a computer to use, and they didn’t have extra computers lying around. Looking back I should have seen that as a red flag and left, but I just took it as another challenge to be solved. Ultimately I pieced together a computer but it was slow and didn’t do the job it needed to do.

If a company doesn’t give you the resources you need to succeed you should ask and then find another company to work for. Under-resourced companies are often close to failure. I have seen this in companies that I have worked for that failed in the past. They don’t invest and the quality of the work and interactions with your coworkers will be poor.

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I was told once in a company that failed by a manager that “a poor workman complains about his tools.”. I disagree. You can’t do a good job with poor tools.