Is Being the Office Fixer a Good Thing?

Is Being the Office Fixer a Good Thing?

Recently, I was in a conversation with a colleague. We were discussing a problem that we really didn’t own. We both came to that realization at the same time and laughed. How often do we choose to intervene when it isn’t our place or when it isn’t actually necessary. What does that mean? Isn’t being “a fixer” a good thing? In the workplace, I would answer that it depends.

The following are some of the pros and cons of being the “workplace fixer.”

First are the pros:

•People know who you are and know that you have some useful skills

•The boss may recognize your talents and request your assistance or presence for certain things

•You feel needed, useful, and appreciated

•You like problem solving and fixing things

•You like interacting with colleagues

•You like mentoring others

•You like being the “office fixer”

Those do sound positive, but  let’s look at the other side.

Possible cons:

•People may not really want your assistance and they may find you intrusive

•Fixing other people’s problems is time consuming—you are taking time away from your own work

•Coworkers may come to depend on you and may actually take advantage of your willingness to help

•You may be taking ownership of  problems that don’t belong to you

•You may appear arrogant or overbearing

•People may come to resent your success

•You may lock yourself into a position and not be promoted because you are viewed as too essential in your current role

There are two statements that come to mind when thinking about office fixers. The first is, “No good deed goes unpunished.” The second is, “Competency has its own punishment.”

Yes, you want to helpful and collegial. Yes, you want your special skills to be recognized. Yes, being a team player and problem solver are important traits. Just be sure you are assuming the “office fixer” mantle because it is appropriate, not because you are “showing off.”

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