I can’t tell you how many times I have heard of troubles
a new Ph. D. employee have had in not “getting along”
with their supervisor. So, many times a supervisor will
either suggest something be done or ask can you do
[.whatever.]..when you get the chance. She might also
request a poorly defined assignment and give a
deadline, like, due by the end of the week.
The new employee did not think much of doing it and
did not do what was “asked.”
Sometimes the assignment is “given” to a team.
What should you do?
Employers seek employees who are proactive, get
things done and understand that they may not fully
understand the importance and implications of an
assignment, which may seem optional.
This is a common problem in teams and with what you
“need” to do,
“want” to do, or
might do because it is a challenge that you will learn
from by doing.
It is a situation where you and your team need to figure
it is in your team’s best interest to
Another thing that your note prompts me to add is that
THE BOSS, whoever that is, will likely not want to see
any question about you not knowing what to do. Some
supervisors will expect you to do it. Some bosses will
forget that they asked you to do an assignment.
Some bosses will expect you to improve on the
assignment so that it produces something valuable
for the team (could also be group, division, etc.) and
You will be recognized by doing well on the things
you must do but those who exceed expectations and
help make the boss look good are the people who are
considered for promotion..