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Fast-Paced Work Environment

Help wanted, fast-paced work environment, with challenging engagements that bring out the best in those interested in career growth.

Now that the economy seems to be gaining traction and stability, I’m starting to think about hiring again.

Fast-Paced and Challenging

So, my first step in this hiring process is writing a draft of an employment ad that I’m contemplating placing in several trade journals and online sites. Unwittingly, my draft included two descriptors that I have seen in many other employment ads: “fast-paced” and “challenging.”

Job Descriptions

In reflecting on this employment ad, it dawned on me that while those two descriptors may be accurate and widely used, I’m not so sure they are appealing or flattering.

Business Practices

In my business, we do operate in a fast-paced and challenging environment, but only occasionally and only by our choice. We often take on too many projects where the list of tasks exceeds our normal capacity, so we spend extra hours and energy to meet the needs of our over-commitment.

During this time, we multitask and batch efforts in an attempt to improve our efficiency thereby keeping the late-night work sessions to a minimum.

Other times, we either didn’t realize the effort needed until the last minute, we neglected to research project requirements until too deep into the process, or we did not spend enough time with our clients to completely understand their needs.

In these instances, we resort to a fast-paced and challenging work environment to make up for poor project management.

Even though it is true we work in a fast-paced and challenging environment, I’ve come to realize it is not an attribute that I want prospective employees to think of first when evaluating working for me. Because we have many other great company traits to sell prospective employees on, we should not have to resort to the traits that I think are not-so-spectacular.

Seasons of Work

Nearly every business encounters seasons where they are operating in a faced-paced climate. And while some employees may think they thrive in that environment, it is an unhealthy environment in the long run. Well-run companies should not have to exist in a fast-paced environment for the long term.

In thinking of my work environment, I have come up with four thoughts on how to survive those periods of fast-paced, challenging work.

  1. Embrace the pace. To meet the work demands, many employees are given responsibilities that are beyond their normal job description. It is beneficial to think of these times as a growing season where employees get to learn new tasks and demonstrate their capabilities in areas outside a normal work environment.
  2. Embrace change. We have learned over time that during these busy seasons, we frequently discover many tasks and steps we take that are completely unnecessary. Once time again allows, we can then reevaluate our business processes and make improvements for the future.
  3. Learn to communicate effectively. In a fast-paced and challenging environment, you do not have time to compose a literary essay on your current thoughts on project management. You need to learn to hammer out bullet points that are straight to the point. Short and to the point communications are quicker to read and faster to implement.
  4. The fast-paced environment is for only a season. Work will one day return to normal. Do not begrudge the long hours and extra time away from your family and friends. Consider this a great time to enhance your business skills and help your company be more productive and profitable.
The Bible

The Bible is here to be your companion during seasons of fast-paced insanity. God does not, however, condone busyness. If your fast-paced world is caused by poor planning, inept project management, and poor time management skills, then the stillness of the Bible is for you.

Psalm 46:10 says.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Slowing down and focusing on God will help you discover the time and effort wasters in your business and get back on track to manage more effectively. God will be there during the long hours to help you keep your life priorities straight and keep frustration at bay.

On the other hand, if your fast-paced business life is the result of business growth and good planning, the stillness of God is also for you. Hebrews 4:9-10 says.

So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.

Even fast-paced businesses need rest. God provides for that rest so you will be rejuvenated and ready to face another exciting week in a fast-growing business environment.

Survival in a fast-paced business world, whether intentional or accidental, is dependent on your ability to find the time and opportunity to “be still” with God.