If you are the person everyone turns to when there is an issue, then you are the team’s hero and firefighter.
I have been there, it is a great feeling, but are you doing more harm than good to you and your career?
In this post I am going to show you the pros and cons of being a firefighter and how to retire from the role.
- You feel valued by the team and your manager.
- You feel secure in your job as who else can do what you do?
- You are always busy and never have time to get bored or worry about the next piece of work.
- New starters always look up to you and always seek your valuable advice.
- At the end of the day you feel you have done a hard and hero’s days work.
- You never have time to work on areas of growth e.g. networking, training, mentoring, etc.
- You are always tired, feel burned out and always need to work late or at the weekends on some critical issue.
- You have to negotiate time off with your manager as it never seems to be a good time.
- Your feel guilty for not spending more time with your family.
- You get overlooked at promotion time as you are too important in your current role.
I hope you can see that firefighting can affect your personal life as well as career growth.
Here are some methods I used to step away from the hero role –
- When an issue comes in ask someone else to pick it up as you are busy. This will spread the knowledge around the rest of the team.
- Set up a meeting with your team and ask them to take their fair share of issues going forward.
- Take odd days off or take a long holiday, someone else will need to step up to the role when you are not there.
- Explain to you manager you want more from your career and ask for help.
If all these fail, then it is time to look for a new role.
Being a firefighter is great, but make sure you do not get stuck in this hero role as it will limit your career growth.