Posted by Jeff Werth
Bad story assignments happen, and people sometimes need help dealing with them. It might be too vague, not fit for the publication, or just plain stupid in your opinion. You don’t believe in the story and don’t want to do it, yet you still want to be professional.
If you want to keep your job, skipping the story isn’t an option. Tantrums may be entertaining for those watching the show, but they’re certainly not professional and give people a rotten reputation.
Monster.com compiled several suggestions on how to be professional at work in the article, “10 Ways To Be Professional at Work.” These function as general guidelines for working, but they specifically don’t address bad assignments.
Reflecting on my 11+ years in video production, I offer more journalism-related suggestions for dealing with these bad assignments.
Suggestions for Dealing with the Bad Assignments
- Clarify the assignment. This should calm your reservations and may even solve your problems in one step. There’s nothing worse than spending a second longer on a task that you’re dreading because you were unclear about it.
- Be positive or at least appear to be. Don’t give into the temptation to vent if you can. You don’t have to be happy about the assignment, but you should keep it to yourself. If you must vent, find a confidant – loved one, friend, or anyone else you trust – who will give you a sounding board and will cut you off before you say something you shouldn’t.
- Work efficiently and don’t procrastinate. It’s better to face a problem and get past it rather than let it linger. Never let bad assignments stress you.
- When it’s done, let it go. People sometimes let the bad stories cling to them, and it poisons their future work. Take a deep breath, and move on the next, hopefully better, challenge.
It’s important to complete every assignment to the best of your abilities, especially the bad ones. Professionals don’t let these experiences affect them and handle each one confidently and quickly. Others respect them, and this respect leads to better jobs in the future. Hopefully, those jobs will have less bad assignments.
I would love to hear some of your suggestions for dealing with bad assignments. What do you do about them? How do you keep them from getting to you?
Photo Credit: Day 15 Frustration by dieselbug2007 under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic