Dealing with more responsibility at your jobPosted by BeerLegJohnson on August 19, 2019 at 12:33 am
I’m a relatively new crew chief, been in the field for about 2 years full time now, and my company is starting to give me a lot more responsibilities. They asked me to come inside and start doing scheduling, prep projects, and talk to clients about 6 months ago and I declined the offer at the time. Since then they’ve put me in charge of maintenance of our equipment, and a handful of CAD related indoor stuff. My point is they’re really pushing me to come inside, and I think that It’s too early for me to come inside. I feel like to be actually effective in the office I need to put my time in the field. It’s gotten to the point where I get phone calls from people all day from clients, co-workers, and my boss about all kinds of stuff which makes it hard to focus on my assigned field task for the day. Anyone have any tips on dealing with the stress of new responsibility? Should I just make the jump indoors and stop complaining?
- 29 Replies
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 12:48 am
Like most surveyors, my life has been a series of jobs and titles I wasn’t perfectly qualified for. It makes life fun.
If you understand the importance of “I don’t know yet”, you’ll be fine.
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 1:08 am
A man has got to know his limitations HOWEVER before you make a decision you have to know what you’re expected duties are.
It sounds like your boss is looking for someone to throw everything at so basically you would be little more than the piss boy. You would have all the duties and responsibilities and all the blame yet limited experience to draw from.
Have the boss clearly define your duties in writing before making a decision. It sounds like you will be thrown under the bus when things go south.
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 1:53 am
The fact that you are questioning it shows that you have a great deal of integrity and character. I agree with you that 2 years is way to soon to take on the office responsibilities especially if you are in charge of scheduling and managing crews. You need to sit down with your boss and fully explain your position and thoughts so he realizes how good you can be if he just backs off for some time. However, the additional responsibilities he is offering you are GREAT opportunities to really build your office skills. Honestly if I was you I’d ask for 3 days in the field and 2 in the office learning everything you can and building your career fast.
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 2:15 am
When you are working, do that and nothing else. Don’t fill your time will bad habits and set time for personal calls and random twerks that annoy everyone.
Get up between or at least every 30min and take a break away from your workstation and walk around for 5min.
Take your thought somewhere else for that time and relax.
Leave the office at the office when you leave the office. Don’t take it home with you.
All this is placing work here and everything else somewhere else and don’t mix the two together and your stress from one place will not affect your needs where you are at.
I have found great enjoyment by going outside no later than 10pm and burning something in the firepit and taking in nature at that time of night.
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 11:34 am
Depends. You can have more good experience in a few months in the field with one employer than you will get in three years with another. From your own assessment, sounds like there hasn’t been much diversity and you want to learn field procedure on things you haven’t done yet (or done much of). But the rule of thumb is that you should always take a promotion when offered, if you want to stay with that company, and if you want to advance in the profession (any profession/trade/business). If you wait till you feel ready the challenge might go away and leave you stranded in repetitive tasks you find harder and harder to get out of. If you take it on, and it’s a good company, you will get the support you need to succeed.
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 12:44 pm
Thinking long-term here – the guy with the most skills and flexibility will be the last guy laid off when the next recession hits.
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 12:59 pmPosted by: @peter-lothian
Thinking long-term here – the guy with the most skills and flexibility will be the last guy laid off when the next recession hits.
It’s already on the way. New housing projects are starting to slowly taper off. As soon as they drop to 50% of what they were starting it’s time to liquidate your investment assets and wait for the bottom to reinvest. Of course if the foreign trade arguments were resolved it could turn everything around and stop the upcoming panic, plus the fact we will be in an election year could really throw the economy for a loop. Good or bad is anyone’s guess. When new house starts begin diminishing you can bet a recession is following. It’s the very first sign the economy is turning sour. ???
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 1:25 pm
“I get phone calls from people all day from clients, co-workers, and my boss about all kinds of stuff which makes it hard to focus on my assigned field task for the day.”
Clients are not calling you out of the blue, your boss is directing them to you. In essence you are doing what the boss asked you to do without being in the office and having office resources available to you. Your boss has decided you have sufficient experience to move on from field work. If you think your boss wants to put your a** on the line and you do not want to, perhaps you should consider new employment.
In my opinion having office experience gives you a better idea of what to be doing in the field, and perhaps your boss feels the same way. Years ago when I was in an office where we were just implementing field to finish, I would have one of the field crew connect the dots with just the point description and point member sequence. Some did it on the computer and some on a paper point plot, but it only took a few short sessions to get them to have a better understanding of the way to get it done in the field. At first it was giving them back a confusing job they did, and for some it meant, downloading the field points, doing a point plot and have them connect the dots before going home. That may have been the best incentive for them to understand it was important for them to make it easier for the office man to see exactly as they did in the field. One project was rather complicated building stakeout where the super wanted a plot every morning of the work from the day before. That crew chief would do a point plot directly from his HP 48 at the end of day, do a pencil connect and turn it over to a draftsman. The complete and annotated plot would be ready for the field crew to take out in the morning long before the draftsman was parking in our lot. Some days the crew chief would hint that a new rod man was not quite getting it despite verbal directions and we would keep the newbie in the office the next day, “learning comes faster when it involves doing.”
Paul in PA
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 3:45 pm
Good Lord. It’s no wonder nobody wants to try this profession. By all accounts here the company will dump his lifeless body in the desert after sucking him dry, then the bosses daughter will live it up on the insurance money.
If you want to be a bitter, lifelong hub pounder just read this thread over and over. Never take a risk and never, ever push yourself. You will risk making money for someone else and imroving your position in life.
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 4:11 pm
There’s nothing wrong with learning new skills. And if your supervisor(s) think you are capable enough to give you the chance, that is a great opportunity. Just make sure that they are not dumping too much on you at once. It’s hard to learn the office ropes while in the field, and regularly taking calls about office items while trying to stake out or run a traverse can really cut into efficiency and/or cause blunders from inattention.
A good leader will push their charges outside their comfort zone, but ensure that they are not overwhelmed by new skills or unable to focus on learning. I would sit down and have a serious talk about the proper time and place for you to perform office tasks and field phone calls. Perhaps set aside one or two days per week during which you are in the office, and make a ground rule that you are not to be called about office items when you are in the field.
Nothing prevents you from continuing to advance both field and office skills at the same time. That’s how I went from crew leader to office tech, and I really enjoyed being able to split my time between the two.
When it comes time for performance reviews (if these don’t exist, request one at least once a year), make sure you and your supervisor go over your progress and come to an agreement about what those newly acquired skills are worth to your employer.“…people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.” -Neil Postman
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 4:12 pm
Sigh. Kuddos to you for wanting to have more of an idea of what you are doing before you start making responsible decisions. However, as with many things in life, your company is wanting you to mover along faster than what you actually are. Whether it is because they see a great potential in you, wish to scare you off, or are just flat out wanting to rake in cash, none of us here can tell you without meeting you in person and having an idea of how your employers operate. I can tell you that at some point almost everyone gets into something over their head. And yes, we almost all failed miserably. Some of us only got our feelings hurt, some of us cost people lots of money. Some made even bigger mistakes. Some of us, we found a way to learn from that mistake, and have went on determined to not make that same sort of mistake again, and have used that to try to keep from letting ourselves get led into making similar mistakes. It sounds like you may already have some of that kid of thinking. Now, whether you should jump in with both feet, thats real hard advice to give from a keyboard far far away. Some folks do good office work, some do good field work, some do both, many do neither. It is even possible you might learn a bit more about the filed side by being in the office awhile, seeing how what you were doing in the field comes together, helping you better determine what is really needed in the field. For my $0.02, advancement purley to say you are climbing the ladder is usually not as effective as learning your way up. In the end it is how much you allow the employer to put upon you that you will be assigned to do. Asking for a break might work, asking for guidance usually is more effective. A company that really wants to succeeded will help their people learn a whole lot more than they would rather them complain about not having any idea what they are doing. If the company is not intrested in that, you might wanna take a good look around….
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 4:19 pm
From an Employer’s (15 people) perspective you are a fool. You are being offered coconuts and you’re focusing on peanuts. ????
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 4:36 pm
My philosophy is to do your level best to be fearless in taking on challenges you might feel you’re not ready for. It’s been my experience that opportunities are often disguised to make them less than appealing and the fear of failure makes us pass them up. Being that are you are still fairly new to the profession, you’re in a position where there really is no failure because even if you make a hash of things, you will carry away valuable lessons that will make you more likely to succeed the next go around. Never over-sell yourself, but when asked if you can do something, say Yes! (Usually followed u[ by, “how the freakin’ heck am I going to pull this off?”). If you bet on yourself and you have the determination, you’ll succeed at whatever gets thrown your way. Iron when treated with heat and pounding, makes a fine sword. If you can master both the field and office side of this profession, you’ll be a valuable asset anywhere you go. If you play it safe and never push beyond your comfort zone, likely you’ll go nowhere. Good luck!Willy
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 4:39 pm
It’s really only a question that you can answer. My advice is to go for it. There are a lot of surveyors in the world with a lot of grey hair and someone needs to take over when they can finally afford to retire. You can get a faster ride to a higher rate by learning the office side of it now. You can always retreat if its not your thing but it sounds you have the aptitude for the work so learn as much as you can.—Dan MacIsaac, PLS
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 6:41 pm
“If you want to be a bitter, lifelong hub pounder just read this thread over and over. Never take a risk and never, ever push yourself. You will risk making money for someone else and imroving your position in life.”
PS: BeerLegJohnson Go see if you can accept that original offer before you get a pink slip. However I think you already screwed yourself.
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 7:23 pm
I got moved into the office several months ago and while it is definitely a great learning experience I think it’s also terribly unhealthy. Humans aren’t meant to sit around this much. Speaking for myself I can already tell it has affected my mood and energy level, and while I’m not chomping at the bit to be out doing backbreaking labor I am looking forward to getting back outside a couple days a week walking around and getting some sun.
Anyway, the moral of the story here is there is more to it than stacking up knowledge and making yourself as indispensable as possible. If you aren’t happy and healthy then none of the rest matters.
- MemberAugust 22, 2019 at 5:02 pm
You can’t be a good chainman till you’ve been an instrument man and you can’t be a good instrument man until you’ve been a chainman. Same thing applies to all the other positions.
Learning the other end of things will benefit you and make you a better surveyor. Getting an understaing of how the operation works in the field and the office is a great opportunity and to me says either your employer is desperate or they really see some great potential in you.
If you go into the office full time get a gym membership….. I’m now the bearded six month pregnant girl in the office ??????????????
- MemberAugust 22, 2019 at 11:54 pm
As yet there has been no mention of money in this thread. I think that moving into the office and learning more about how the other half lives will make you a better field hand. Your boss apparently thinks you are ready. But will he back that up with a boost in pay, or are you just a stop gap solution to a current problem?
Your entry level trial period is coming to a close. Time to start thinking about how your career goes over the next 10 years or so to licensure, and beyond. Is the company going to support that in tangible ways?
NW. Staker’s advice about a gym membership is solid. You need to make enough extra money to pay for the dues and the hour and a half a day you spend there.
Finally, the office is not a prison. There are ways you can work out getting into the filed at least part of the time. Jobs sometimes need a third person on them.
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