Too Good for My No-Good Job

Bob Goldman on

We all know the danger of being bad at your job, like having three burly HR people descend on your workstation to pack up your collection of Holly Hobbie dolls and throw you, Holly, and her BFFs, Amy and Heather, into the parking lot.

But what danger could possibly result from being too good at a job?

It's a question you are never asked.

The question you are invariably asked is, "How come such a bad employee manages to hang on to any job at all?" And if you are not asked this question by friends and co-workers, you do have those moments of crystalline clarity when you look at the fuzzy face in the barroom mirror, and ask this question to yourself.

Of course, there is only one logical answer. You have developed the ability to cloud the minds of managers and make them believe you're an asset to the team. It's your superpower, really, and it should be able to keep you employed until someone snaps his or her fingers and your zombie manager wakes up and fires you.

Someone like Joann S. Lublin.


Lublin is the management and careers columnist for The Wall Street Journal and has recent published an alarming piece, titled "The Danger of Being Too Good at Your Job."

According to Lublin, the danger is that you'll be stuck in your present position forever, because you're "so good at your job that your boss isn't willing to lose you."

"Talent hording" is the name for managers who "hold on to top performers instead of working to promote them or transfer them to other areas of the company."

According to the Institute for Corporate Productivity, talent-hoarding managers exist at half of the 665 employers they survey. Presumably, the other half operate normally, doing their best to fire as many employees as possible as quickly as possible.


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