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OCD In the Office by Sarah Weinberger

Job search expert Sarah Weinberger has worked with job seekers for years answering their questions and providing them tools by which to succeed. Her analytical mind bridges the gap between the engineering of a career search and individuals.

She welcomes your questions, and encourages you to send them into her. Please use our contact form or connect with her on LinkedIn. She will select questions to answer and post the answer on this site. Below are some of the questions she received and answered.









The Wall Street Journal had an article recently, where they talked about some manager´s obsession with perfectionism and how it harms employees. Some managers stay up half the night correcting their employees´ mistakes. The article talks about how there is no cure, just remission. In all my years, I have never seen a manager correcting my mistakes or anyone else´s mistakes. The usual tactic is just to act like Dilbert´s boss.

I wanted to talk about the reverse scenario. What would happen if an employee had OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), if I remember the acronym correctly? Think the character Adrien Monk on the Monk television series.

The answer would probably be a raise or a better bargaining chip elsewhere, because the manager would not lose sleep over a job done half fast. As long as any employee, manager or otherwise, does not lose sight of the big picture, then there is no problem. I also do not see a problem with managers losing sleep. Many employees do that all the time. Many employees have to go into work on holidays too to meet schedules.

Being neat and orderly is also not a sin and does not need corrective therapy or remission. Everyone should work their best to accomplish whatever task, be it for family, themselves, or work. There are limits, of course, and I for one am guilty of that.

If you are asked to do an all-nighter or work on the weekends, then you should seek compensation, even if you are a salaried employee. You should ask for a bonus in writing or double pay. Being a salaried white collar employee does not mean that you have to be a slave. Employers should put their money where their mouth is. You may want to do one project where you just do it, to show that you are a team player, but if things persist ask for that compensation.

Saying that trying to be perfect is equivalent to alcoholism is incredible. If being good at your job, regardless of your position, is grounds for being fired, then that person is at the wrong employer and the person should go to an employer that appreciates good work done in a timely manner. That person should get compensated for that.

There is a difference between doing your work well, and going and doing the work of someone else. You can talk to the other person and say what you dislike about the job and how it can improve, but redoing the work of someone else is wrong and bad management style. That is different than coaching, if the employee does not know something well, and the manager shows them. A manager should set the tone and expectation. It is then up to the team to comply. The cure for doing someone else’s work is simply to not do that. Create a list of the faults and improvements needed and send the work back to the employee for correction. In that way, the employee will learn.

Read more career coaching questions by checking out the Ask Sarah column and reading the blog. Schedule your 1 on 1 session with career coach expert, Sarah Weinberger. Sarah is located in Santa Monica, CA, but she can connect with you anywhere in the world.

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