To truly do a good job, you have to go above and beyond your job description––you figure it out along the way. That's the basis for today's burning question from Redditor stuartwolf, who asked the online community: "What's an unwritten requirement for your job that you won't see on a job description?"
"I understand you..."
Physical Security Consultant: you must be able to explain to a client why their idea is dumb without making them feel like they are dumb. This is especially difficult when they are, in fact, dumb.
"I understand you don't want that door to fail safe during a fire because it poses a security risk, but the city frowns on locking people in burning buildings."
Must provide free legal advice that you are not qualified to give and have no time to research because the general public expects you to.
Endlessly explaining to the tech team that our users (illiterate farmers in the developing world) are not the same as them (mostly MIT computer science graduates).
Microbiology lab assistant- Have to be able to deal with weird smells, and be able to handle all the ways human body fluids can look.
A lot of students we have come through often have trouble with sputum. You can't have trouble processing sputum, especially if the management decides they need to train someone new in the tuberculosis lab.
I had one student shadowing me that nearly threw up in the walk in incubator. It kind of smells like rotten pumpkin most of the time, unless something out of the ordinary is growing.
"You must fit in..."Giphy
"You must fit in with the office culture". Employment is only partially contingent on your skills and experience. The other part - which looms way larger than most people realize - is that you need to have a similar "look" as all the other staff members, and you need to have a personality that fits with all the others.
If you don't match with a prospective or current employer in the above unwritten criteria, you may still get hired but you'll be the first to get fired or laid off.
Endlessly correcting my predecessors mistakes.
I am an insight manager (survey + data) and I am forever finding spelling mistakes, wrong data and generally rookie mistakes in everything he had touched.
It does mean occasionally I get told off for sending 'wrong' data out, but usually some manager defends me - pointing out I am reissuing correct data.
Last week I found some major errors in a monthly data report where it was clear the guy had been highlighting a set of cells like simpleton (a series of rows + total value of those rows) and giving out data what was double the actual value. The head of the department had noted this before, but was unaware that the data had gone out after she told the idiot to stop doing it. She was very happy that I checked.
This happened in my last role too - but unfortunately my boss was an idiot and psychopath and there was no one around to support me and so I lost my job basically doing my job by providing accurate data releases.
I sometimes I think I am bad at my job (imposter syndrome) but then I only have to look at the kind of reckless, foolish mistakes my predecessor did and I know at least I am not that bad.
(And also, he was lazy and slow at his work - which has meant I could probably do my job in two days he took five, so that's an awful lot of staring into the mid-distance listening to podcasts.)
"Full time babysitter!"
Full time babysitter:
I'm a supervisor in the military and I'm constantly having to tell full grown adults to pay their bills, clean their rooms, call their parents and come to work on time!
"Not show emotion..."
Not show emotion when being punched, bitten, scratched ext. I work in a behavioral rehabilitation facility for kids with disabilities and if they hurt you and see that it did hurt they will forever target you in that spot. So no matter what you have to make it seem like it's not a big deal. Verbal attacks too.
Teaching kindergarten, half the job is mothering and half the job is drill sergeant. One of the best analogies I ever heard was that to be a kindergarten teacher, you have to be a perfect blend of Mr. Rogers and Rambo, with a lot of heart and a velvet hammer. And then you have to teach them to read and write...
"Improvise and think creatively."Giphy
Improvise and think creatively. I'm a bartender. One might not think that thinking creatively is something you need to be a successful bartender since most places have a menu with pre-determined drinks but you'd be surprised. You get a lotof people asking you to "make something good" for them. You can ask what they're into but more often than not, they say they don't care and to just bring them whatever. This is mostly common in people who don't drink that much and just want something that tastes good. This is where knowledge of liquors, liqueurs and mixers comes in. Sure, you can bring them something basic like a rum and coke but you'll also score a lot of cool points and credit if you make something off the top of the head that isn't basic or well known.
Learning what mixes well with what is a, well, a learning process. Nobody is expecting you to know all that if it's your first bar gig. But if you cant think of something reasonably tasty after a year or so of bartending, you got a problem. I've cranked out tons of random drinks for people that are most likely not known recipes. I look at the bar, think "Oh, this will go well with this if I add this into it" and serve it. Some are winners and some are losers. It's all a learning process. It definitely does help though if you're able to look at your resources and be able to quickly put random parts together and make something that someone actually wants to drink.
"I'm a composer for hire..."
I'm a composer for hire but I think the biggest thing people might not understand is that although I'm writing custom pieces of music for brands or film, the reason people work with me is because I'm easy to work with. Yes, I have been doing this a long time and I'm quite good at writing in many musical styles, creating professional recordings etc. but the reason people choose to work with me is because of my willingness to make my client happy.
I never say no (unless there's no money.) All the clients ideas are good ideas even if they're not. I'll come up with better ideas and tell them they came up with them. I make them feel like they're doing a good job even if they aren't. Sure, sometimes you want to just tell people to shove it- that's normal. But this industry can pay you extremely well if you get on the shortlist for a few clients.
"Social interaction with co-workers."
Social interaction with co-workers. Not talking about interaction necessary to do the job, but the kind of interaction where you're expected to share your life and care about theirs.
This is not in the contract. It is never in the contract. It is not what you signed up to do in order to get a paycheck. But if you don't do it, regardless of how good you are at the actual job itself, suddenly everyone hates you and you have complaint after complaint about how you didn't waste half an hour every morning talking to Karen about her vacation or to Greg about his kids or Janice about her yoga and rock-climbing.
I've literally had people pissed at me because I walked in at the start of the day, still half sleep-deprived, and bumbled over to my desk without stopping to chat with someone who was five feet away and I didn't even notice standing there because of lack of sleep. I had never, in my entire time at that job, stopped to chat in the morning with anyone. Ever. But apparently today was the day they were going to get pissed about me not doing something that the script in their head said I should.
"You have to be comfortable while routinely..."
You have to be comfortable while routinely working with equipment which is both sensitive, fragile and often costing more than your house, car or both combined.
You use these ridiculously expensive pieces of fragile equipment while following various protocols involving substances which can be one (or all) of the following: explosive, toxic, carcinogenic, corrosive, oxidizing, cause of genetic defects, are lightly flammable, volatile, burn on contact with water or air, etc.
Making a mistake on a crucial moment can result in anything ranging from things as mundane as having to redo a sample preparation to stuff as depressing as ending up with years of flawed data or - in the worst case - with lots of dead people.
On a non-work-related side-note: You'll be confronted with deniers who - even though they're often intelligent people and critical thinkers - often simply aren't aware of one or more basic concept(s) and are unfortunately too stubborn to accept the information presented by professionals. Also, your family, and everyone else you know, will ask you if you can make meth.
"Depending on the region..."
Grain elevator either full time or seasonal help.
Depending on the region you in get ready for 80 hour work weeks until the time harvest ends, which for me was at least 3 months. The grain dust can be the worst part though. After you've been sweating from working in 100 degree heat the dust sticks to you and makes you itchy. There were times where I scratched the skin off my arms and chest from the amount of scratching I did. Also get ready for dumbass truck drivers thinking you owe them special treatment because they haul for a certain person.
So glad I gave up that job I swear I aged 10 years in my small amount of time working there.
Professor: exist in a paradox where you are required by your department head to be in your office so as to appear to be working yet your office is the place that no one (neither colleagues nor students) let you get any work done!