Respecting Your Professional Boundaries

23 02 2015

Currently, I am studying for an upper level accreditation test through a specifically popular fitness program. Throughout the study guide, it repeatedly asks the test takers to understand the “Scope of Professionalism,” and how to act in accordance of such.

I like to call this the “That’s above my pay-grade” rule.

As young professionals working in any career, it’s often times hard to give-in and accept that we do not have the answer, especially when finding the answer oftentimes require us to swallow our own humility and ask our supervisors for an answer or help.

The funny thing about this is that a lot of jobs focus on the “ask forgiveness” rule – which essentially means, “handle it yourself and then we will figure out if you did the right thing later.”  More times than not, this is an outstanding way for entry and mid-level professionals to learn how and when to handle, sometimes, delicate situations.  Under certain premises, however, not being able to accept that “this is above my pay-grade,” could mean that you could be penalized or even lose your job.

During your next meeting with your boss or executive, I urge you to create a hard list of situations that “require” the extension of a higher level employee to be involved.  Not only will this save you time, emotional duress and perhaps YOUR JOB, but it could also mean a better relationship with your superiors and better internal rankings for possible promotions.

One rule of thumb I prefer to live by is asking myself, “If I screw this up, will the company be in trouble?”

If the answer is yes, or even a hard “maybe,” send it to your manager and work together to find a solution.

 

-AP

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