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How You Deal with Responsibility Can Hurt or Help Your Image

Updated on December 16, 2019
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Melissa writes articles based on her experience & knowledge working in several different industries and also through self study and training

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What Does It Mean to Be Responsible?

Being responsible simply means to take ownership of one’s responsibilities. When you take ownership of a responsibility, you and only you, are responsible for seeing it through to completion. The importance in taking responsibility for something is not only meeting the deadline or simply getting the task to the completion stage, but to do it with excellence and to the best of your ability.

“Responsibility” is a word that is nearly synonymous with the word "trustworthiness”, and to be considered as a trustworthy person (or employee in this case), it can greatly help your image with those around you. To be seen as someone that can be trusted with seemingly small projects here and there (even if they seem boring or menial), can eventually be to your benefit later when you will be able to be trusted with bigger and greater responsibilities and tasks. Of course, you should only take ownership of a responsibility if you know for a fact that you can get it done within the expected time frame and accurately.

Accuracy Is Just as Important

There are tasks that would be too easy to complete if the only goal was just getting them done. The reality though, is that these tasks need to be done as accurately as possible to avoid problems (i.e. things that can come back to haunt you later). It is best to take your time to make sure the task or project is done correctly, yet leaving yourself time to double-check your work and submit your work in time for review, and to make any changes if necessary before the actual deadline. When you make accuracy a priority, you are not only turning in something that you can be proud of, but it will save you from headaches later or having to re-do your work later. When other's see that your work is of quality, you will be seen as someone who is reliable, responsible, and trustworthy. When you have a great work reputation, you can later use that to benefit any and all future endeavors that you may have.

Success Is at Hand When You Plan

Planning is very important in this process. If you set time aside or block out time to get things done, it’s not nearly as difficult as doing the entire project at once and most likely at the last minute. It is best to reserve an hour or two first thing in the morning to get it done, or at least work towards completion.This is will also help you by feeling a sense of accomplishment, which will in turn, increase your productivity with other things. Allotting time to work on segments of a large project is also helpful to ensure that you don't wear yourself out trying to get things done all at once or even at the very last minute. Working on a project for hours upon hours only to have to submit something that you know wasn't your best work or that you could have better handled it, is simply gut-wrenching. If what your responsible for is something that you can get done rather quickly, get it done and be done with it. One thing off your plate doesn't seem like much but it gives you a sense of accomplishment which often fuels your motivation to accomplish other things and helps you to be more productive. Planning ahead also ensures that you have enough time to tie up any loose ends and finish something that you can be proud of. There are various resources available online that can assist you with simplifying the project planning process are project planning tools, task trackers, etc. which you can find online or in your phone's app store. There are multitudes of apps geared toward task tracking and project planning. Another great option is outlining your project details and steps on a project planning notebook where you can check off tasks and also review your progress. Many people still prefer paper and pen over the virtual programs and apps. Whichever method works better for you is the best method.

The Importance of Communication

Communication is very important, especially if what you're responsible for is something that also includes other people. Sometimes you work as a team, and you are delegated one part of the project. It’s best to communicate openly with those in your project group especially to make sure that you know precisely how to do the thing that you are responsible for. It would be disastrous to have to spend a lot of time on something, but then later on find out that you didn't do it correctly. In which case, you would most likely have to start all over again from the beginning. Miscommunication, whether on your part or someone else's, can at times make you appear to be incompetent or irresponsible to those around you. Constant and common miscommunication situations can really damage your image/reputation. The best thing to do is to keep an open line of communication, so that if you don’t fully understand something or a specific detail, you can ask someone to clarify for you, no matter how many times it takes you to get it. This will save you not only time and stress, but you can also approach the responsibility with confidence knowing exactly what needs to get done and all of the details involved.

Communication is also necessary if something does come up and you know ahead of time that you won’t be able to get the project done in a specific time frame. Make that known to all those involved ahead of time so that the details of the delay can be addressed. Also, whether or not there is a specific deadline or time frame required to have your project completed by, it’s best to get your project turned in as soon as possible- even earlier than the deadline to ensure that it can be reviewed and updates or changes can be made and still turned in on time.

Lastly, if there are delays or errors, excuses will not help your case or image. If and when you end up making a mistake, just own up to it. Do your best to correct it. Perhaps you should have factored in more data that you had overlooked. Or maybe there are data entry errors or miscalculations. Whatever the case may be, it’s best to just admit that it was mistake. Excuses do not have a place in the workplace. Sometimes there really are things that happen that were out of your control to cause the mistake or delay, but instead of wasting time trying to rectify that it wasn't your fault because of this or that, just own up to it. Excuses don't accomplish anything. Excuses just waste your time and other people's time.


How do you approach a large project?

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© 2017 Melissa Medina


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