Are you a custodian of your job?

Feb 27, 2017


In the workplace there are many opportunities for progressing skills, training and keeping ahead of changes within the industry. Some examples might be by participating in a new project, learning new software or by networking with peers.  The question is, are your employers supportive of this?

Does your employer want a custodian of a job? Someone who takes over the job from their predecessor and does it exactly the same way until they leave, and then passes custody of the same job on to their replacement. The employer doesn’t like change, likes things done in a particular way, wants systems that were put in place years ago, to continue without review or question.  This happens at companies of all sizes; no company size is exempt.

Or does your employer want a new employee with a fresh outlook, who will review and question things (without being too annoying!) and help take the company forward, by creating efficiency, contributing new ideas, and being more engaged with the publishing process and the company?

Maybe it is you that is the custodian. You want everything to stay the same, you don’t want to rock the boat so you do just enough to keep your job, and often have clear boundaries as to what is your domain and what is a colleague’s responsibility. You might be someone who blocks change.

Whether it is your employer who wants a custodian, or you who is the custodian, in our experience, it is the people who are custodians who are often most at risk. Firstly, your job is at risk of being made redundant if it remains static, or holds the company back, while the company goes in another direction.

Secondly, if a custodian of a job no longer has a job, they often have great difficulty finding a new one, as the job no longer exists in the way they are expecting it.  Very often new jobs require different skills and thought processes. We’re in an ever-evolving workplace now.

So if you are struggling at work, because you don’t feel your skills are being utilised properly or you are not progressing as you wish, ask yourself, are you a custodian of your job, or are you trying to make the job your own? What new things can you learn this week to push you out of custodian mode into contributing employee?