You were so excited! You found a new position, or you were promoted. Everything just seemed perfect.

Promoted to Plant Manager

You work in manufacturing as a production supervisor. Next, they promoted you to Plant Manager. Great, huh?

So, you weren’t too annoyed when the Vice President asked you if you could head up Safety too. You always had an interest in OSHA. It was fun figuring out ways to educate the workers and motivate them to pay attention to Safety. When the OSHA incidents dropped, you were incredibly happy. You mentored the production crew, and they were getting it. The plant was running smoothly. All was well!

The Jumbo Job starts quietly

Next, the VP asked if you could run Shipping and Receiving and that seemed ok. You made sure all the product shipments made it out the door at the scheduled times. You even were delighted when you found carrier options to reduce costs because this enabled the transportation and logistics budget to stretch much further.

Moving into the Jumbo Job

The VP had another chat with you and asked if you could tackle Quality Control. You value making sure that everything going out the door meets specifications so again you said yes. You created new procedures for product inspections and verified each product met those specifications.

Seeing you were so successful with the Safety Director role, the VP asked if you could head up Training and Development. You really like motivating people so you said yes, AGAIN! You beef up your training skills and create innovative programs to get everyone engaged.

What happens at home?

Wow, suddenly you are only getting 3 hours of sleep a night most nights. Your wife or husband complains that they never see you anymore. Your children’s ball games go on without you and you barely get to see them in passing.

When you are home, your head is stuck in a book trying to bone up on all this new stuff or researching strategies on the computer. Your cell phone goes off all the time and you can barely keep up with the work.

This is what you wanted, right? You wanted the respect of your staff and the recognition from management.

Time to slow down

When I wrote this originally, I had three or four clients with this scenario. You thought I was just running up a fictional tale there, didn’t you? It doesn’t just happen in manufacturing either. Executives in corporations, finance, technology, retail, and other areas report the same tale. Employers felt the crunch, they need to do more with less so if they can find willing people who can take on more work, they do.

What’s wrong with this?

It works for a little while, until you hit your personal limits and the effects on your family and your body start taking over. We all need balance in our lives and there is no way to find it in the above scenario.

The economy made financial resources difficult for many employers and doubling or quadrupling jobs is one way to handle this. When you pile this much work on one person though, they will hit the wall and, in the end, they make mistakes.

The solution? You tell me. People hit the wall and come to me still employed but frazzled in need of a new position. In the worst case, they come to me after they lost their position because the top management still didn’t see the value and didn’t listen if the person voiced their concerns.

I am not a fan of the “jumbo” job.

I don’t think it is healthy and I don’t think it is a wise management practice but I do know it is common.

If you need to start a new career journey to find a role that gives you better work-life balance, explore my options here.

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The Irony of the new Jumbo job