Home > The Monday Musings Column > on putting in a shift

on putting in a shift

Many years ago I was given some feedback (although we didn’t call it that in those days) on my recent performance on the management training scheme. The comment that stuck with me at the time was “He shows up on time and gets on with it. He puts in a shift, but is nowhere near ready for the move up”.

Those thoughts stung the 20 year old me quite a bit and, despite the offer of a move up to department manager a few months later I had already decided to move on: The stupidity of youth. With the benefit of hindsight my mentor had been spot on and it would be a couple more years before I could see that and had begun to work out what I needed to do to move from worker to manager.

But even as a manager there is still the need to show up, get on with it and put in a shift and to be able to do that day in day out regardless of how you feel. Yes there are times when there is that urge to get in to the office (or wherever, and start making things happen, but there are days when there will be no spark at all. It happens to everyone regardless of where they sit in an organisation and is a common cause of the odd day off here and there.

To “Put in a shift” has been a philosophy that I have carried for nearly fifty years now and it has become ingrained. It’s just what I do and I am happy with the approach. I turn up on time, do my best and go home. As long as I can do the latter feeling that I have been able to make a positive contribution then I will be content. It also means that I am never embarrassed about getting paid.

It is advice that I would offer anyone as a basic plan to working life. Yes there is more to it than that simple statement. You especially need need to learn as you go along if nothing else, but if you turn up and get on with it you will be well on your way.

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