Author Topic: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job  (Read 1797 times)

o2bfree

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Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« on: October 05, 2017, 04:38:43 PM »
If your last job was way too easy, to the point where you were slacking off, and you were involved in training your replacement, what was that like?

Did the new person's time seem filled enough as they learned their new duties, letting you escape before they, and possibly your manager, realized that you'd been slacking? Did you hint to your replacement that the job would be pretty easy once they learned their way around, or did it seem like it could take years for them to master the position, so you said nothing? Did you even care about what people thought after you left? (I guess I do, I like my workplace and the people here, and want to leave on good terms.)

I've had my job for many years and am the only one supporting my group in this role. While I've taken on a number of duties over the years, expanding my role into areas that in other groups are staffed by additional people, I've also learned how to slack off and still get my work done on schedule. It's largely a matter of knowing which projects are likely to be delayed or cancelled, and which tasks can be put off because the details will likely change later, required rework at my end.

I expect to cut the cord next year, and am looking for input as I consider the various aspects of my exit strategy.

rubybeth

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 04:48:38 PM »
I think this likely happens to a lot of people toward the end of their careers, or as soon as they master the job and are of the optimizing type and try to streamline things. You have probably optimized every efficiency possible and honed your skills to the point that it's easy, but it might not be that easy for the next person.

I've had the same position since 2009 and so after this long, have learned how to make things a lot smoother for myself, which has left me time to take on new projects that are interesting to me, and my boss has encouraged this. Maybe it's not so much a matter of training in your replacement to think of it as "easy," because it might not be for them as they learn it, but that it may afford them opportunities to take on other projects of interest to them. I also have a newer co-worker, and while the previous person retired at typical retirement age, the new person is much younger and it feels like a really big job right now to learn all the ins-and-outs of the organization along with learning the job itself.
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RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2017, 04:57:32 PM »
I think this likely happens to a lot of people toward the end of their careers, or as soon as they master the job and are of the optimizing type and try to streamline things. You have probably optimized every efficiency possible and honed your skills to the point that it's easy, but it might not be that easy for the next person.

Agreed, I don't think it'll be as much of a concern as you think.  I've streamlined the shit out of my job to the point I have nothing to do.  Then when something comes up, I've been doing it so long it takes 30 seconds to handle, then I'm back to doing nothing.  I feel bad about it sometimes, but then I started trying to train a guy below me as he wants to move up, and I'm planning my exit.  So instead of taking 30 seconds to fix something, I walk him through the process, and in having to go back to the basics to explain things my 30-second task turns into 2 hours.

o2bfree

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 05:53:31 PM »
Thanks you two! That's what I'm hoping, that I've been here so long that I've lost touch with how complex my job is.

Continuing the countdown...

swinginbeef

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2017, 06:48:05 AM »
This is classic Dunning-Kruger effect in action. We're so skilled/smart at a certain task that we (probably incorrectly) assume that it will be easy for anyone, underestimating our own value. I feel the same way at work. I consistently get praise and good reviews for things that I feel a trained monkey could easily do. Then we had a big project and brought in a few contractors and I was instantly reminded that not just anyone could jump in a do what I do with the same skill, speed and efficiency.

Even if your 40hr/week job really only requires 10-15hrs of your time, it'll more than likely take your replacement the full time for quite a while until they figure it all out.

Caoineag

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 07:24:53 AM »
I have been fortunate enough to train some of our other staff on jobs which has opened my eyes to the fact that just because I can do it in 30 seconds, doesn't mean it won't take someone else 3 hours. Even if people suspected I am lazy most of the time, they KNOW they can't do the things I do in a reasonable amount of time. So no one will think less of me when I leave (less than 6 months!!!) because their concern will just be trying to find someone who can do the things I do. I am basically everyone's easy button so they are not going to appreciate me leaving...

o2bfree

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 07:30:23 AM »
I suppose that's true to a large extent. Many of my coworkers do seem much busier than me, traveling frequently, working early and late hours at home, rushing off to meeting after meeting, pushing to finish big presentations, etc. But no doubt part of this is due to personality. Over the years I've watched different people handle the same position. Some seem to take their work pretty casually, while obviously doing a fantastic job. Others also perform well, but often seem harried. I guess I'm in the casual corner.

bacchi

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2017, 09:11:16 AM »
This is classic Dunning-Kruger effect in action. We're so skilled/smart at a certain task that we (probably incorrectly) assume that it will be easy for anyone, underestimating our own value.

Dunning-Kruger is the opposite -- low ability people think they're more skilled than they are.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

Plina

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2017, 02:02:03 PM »
When I left one of my previous jobs the replacement was still struggling more then 1 year later to do the job that I found  non challenging. Basically it lead to them replacing me and my colleague with three persons. I could slack in my work at certain periods in the year. When I talked to colleagues at other work places they found the amount of cases that caused me to be bored to almost tears to be challenging..

The last place I left had troubles to find a replacement to one of my roles because I had set the bar to high. Which I heard about when I left. So even though you might be able to deal with the work fast it is not sure it works for your replacement.

fattest_foot

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2017, 07:31:56 PM »
This is classic Dunning-Kruger effect in action. We're so skilled/smart at a certain task that we (probably incorrectly) assume that it will be easy for anyone, underestimating our own value.

Dunning-Kruger is the opposite -- low ability people think they're more skilled than they are.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

I think swinginbeec used it correctly. He underestimates his own intelligence and assumes he's average when he may be quite above average. The below average are only one part of Dunning-Kruger.

StetsTerhune

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2017, 03:52:09 AM »
I've trained my replacement 5 times now. All for jobs I considered super easy. 4 out of 5 times the person I was training was clearly way over their head and by all accounts later wasn't doing a quarter of work I had been doing. The 1 out of 5 that was competent is one of my best friends to this day (and we'd never spoil it for each other by telling others how easy the job is).

bacchi

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2017, 02:21:15 PM »
This is classic Dunning-Kruger effect in action. We're so skilled/smart at a certain task that we (probably incorrectly) assume that it will be easy for anyone, underestimating our own value.

Dunning-Kruger is the opposite -- low ability people think they're more skilled than they are.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

I think swinginbeec used it correctly. He underestimates his own intelligence and assumes he's average when he may be quite above average. The below average are only one part of Dunning-Kruger.

I stand corrected. The corollary is about "persons of high ability" as swinginbeec wrote.

RobFIRE

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2017, 05:18:46 AM »
If you have been doing a skilled/professional job for a number of years so have built up significant experience, you can get to a point of feeling that the job is easy and/or there is lots of spare time. However, as others have said, that could well be due to your experience and efficient approach built up over time.

Secondly in my work there are people with similar experience who will do the same job to the same standard in double the time others would take. There are those who take coffee/smoking breaks multiple times a day; there are others who get on with their work from first thing so have done the important stuff before lunch. And there are those who are perfectionists who of their own accord would never finish a significant piece of work.

Then there are those who are career focused etc. or like to be involved in everything so will invite themselves to every meeting and committee, then not leaving them enough time to actually get the work done.

But the bottom line in my experience is that the boss wants the job done, to a good standard, meeting the requirements, with the minimum of fuss (boss never wants an unsolved problem brought to them, only a solved problem or a choice of solutions) and reliably on time. So within reason the boss won't care how or when it's done or if you have downtime/spare capacity.

So I don't think there's much to worry about. Train the replacement to do the job as per the rules/process, if they are sufficiently experienced offer to show them some of the tricks as well.

11ducks

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2017, 05:30:23 AM »
I agree with Rob- there are constant complaints at my work about the 'ridiculous' workload- generally from people who are disorganised and lazy and sit at the lunch table blathering for an hour daily. They are routinely shocked and outraged by the deadlines we are given for regularly occurring work tasks, in spite of this being the same each 6 months. I study at work in my free time, because I complete my work first- if I know something is occurring in the near future (eg it is report card writing time soon)- I ensure all of my spreadsheets, marking and documentation are up to scratch, and start to complete what I can early. It's not rocket science! I wouldn't stress over it.
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o2bfree

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Re: Training the replacement for your way-too-easy job
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2017, 08:39:01 AM »
I guess I'm a little out of touch with what constitutes a big workload for my position because no one else in my area does my type of work. I did work with a group of peers some years ago, and always seemed to carry a large load relative to others.