Work Yourself Out of a Job to Acheive Business Growth


The other day I had to explain the concept of ‘working yourself out of a job’ to a friend of mine, so I thought I’d give a brief explanation of the idea on here too.

The term ‘work yourself out of a job’ is often applied to employed people and it basically involves the process of building such a good team of people beneath you that you could effectively not be present yet because your team had been trained so well, any given operation or task would run as efficiently as it would if you yourself were there overseeing things. Therefore it would be as if your services were no longer required, you would have worked yourself out of a job.

For an employed person the idea of wanting to be able to ‘work yourself out of a job’ might seem crazy at first. I mean, who would want to send themselves unemployed, right? Actually though, often times the opposite can be true as aiming to work yourself out of a job could make you a better, more productive and therefore more valued employee and team leader. How about for self-employed business owners though? How could the idea of working yourself out of a job be beneficial for you too?

For self-employed people and especially for those people who have the goal of growing a successful business, the ability to be able to work yourself out of a job is going to be essential if you are going to achieve this goal. So what do I mean when I say ‘working yourself out of a job’?

When you start a business from scratch, often times it is you and you alone that is doing all of the work. You’ll be taking on the roles of chief marketer, accountant, sales manager and possibly even cleaner as you try to build your business without the need to spend much money employing others. As the business grows however, continually fulfilling all of these roles can become somewhat overwhelming and if you don’t address this issue, it will inevitably stunt the growth of your business. After all, there is only a certain amount of work and responsibility that any one person can take on. This is where ‘working yourself out of a job’ becomes essential.

At some point in the quest for business growth it is vital that we begin to divest ourselves of certain work tasks and responsibilities and gradually pass them on to others. Each time giving yourself less work to take care of personally and freeing up more time to concentrate on the more important tasks that need your attention and decisions that need to be made. Eventually, you may even be able to work yourself out of these more important tasks by appointing someone to a managerial position and training them to take on these more important roles.

At times it can be very difficult for an entrepreneur to entrust tasks to others as you may feel that the quality of the business offering might suffer as a result, or you might simply not want to lose any level of control. Or, you may feel that it will just be too much hassle to take the time to train somebody to ‘do what you do’ and most importantly, to do it right! To an extent this may be true in that there may be a period of time where mistakes are made as a new employee learns the ropes of the business. It could also be true that in the beginning, the training of an employee could seem as though it is costing you time, rather than freeing it up in the way that it was supposed to. Ultimately though, this initial teething period will pass and you should be left with a well-trained employee who knows exactly how you like things to be done or better yet, perhaps even brings new and refreshing ideas to the table which may benefit the business in ways that you never expected.

Working yourself out of a job and passing on responsibility may be difficult and it may require a fair amount of initial effort and patience on your part to make it work. For a business to truly grow though, it is essential that we are able to pass on as much responsibility to others as we can so that as we mentioned earlier in this post, we are able to concentrate on what is needed to grow and progress the business further.

How do you feel about the concept of working yourself out of a job?

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