The Engineer: Managing Expectations
Hello again! Hope you guys are having a great week. This week we're talking about managing other people’s expectations in the workplace.
When you first start at your job, your manager doesn’t know how much you can do yet. This is the best time to put your best foot forward and make sure you’re giving a 110%. When you put forth quality work, you get opportunities to diversify your skill set and get more responsibility which will help you grow in your career.
However, getting more responsibility can at times be overwhelming. You want to please all your stakeholders which could be more than just your manager. It’s important to not fall behind and not try to spread yourself to thin because that could hinder the quality of work that you produce and can damage your professional brand. Your goal is to be the person that everyone wants to work with and for people to be asking YOU what projects you want to work on.
I am personally not there yet, but here are some things that I do to stay on top of all the different projects and initiatives that I’m working on.
You have to ask yourself what needs to be completed now and what can be done later. Ask yourself, who’s asking for this? Why are they asking for this right now? How soon do they need to see the results of what you produce? Answering these questions for yourself helps you figure out what needs to happen now vs what can be done later on in the week or next week.
Make detailed todo lists.
Every day, I come into work and make a todo list. My todo lists don’t just contain broad tasks but step by step bullet points of what I need to do to finish the major task. For example, I wouldn’t just have “Code new feature” I would have: “Code new feature”
Figure out query to get the data
Write Back End Process
Develop the front end
Doing this helps the work I’m doing feel less intimidating and also when my managers are asking me what’s the status of a particular project I can pinpoint exactly what I have remaining so my managers understand and know that I am progressing. Be transparent. You may not be able to get to everything, however, lying about it isn’t the best solution. Tell your managers why you weren’t able to get to something. Letting your managers know where you are on certain projects helps them adjust their timeline or they can help you work through some problems quicker. Whatever you do, don’t leave things just hanging in hopes that someone will pick up where you left off because that almost never happens. You always want your managers to see you as an amazing worker so that you can grow and excel in your career just as your managers want you to grow and advance. You may feel stressed at times but you’ll see the benefits of your hard work soon (at least that’s what I tell myself). -The Engineer