Do I Have to Take Out the Office Trash?

Reputations are made by doing the small, unwanted tasks.

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GL Hoffman

I work in a small company, but do I have to take out the trash?

Yes. Just pitch in and do it. Sheesh, Imelda, getting a bit big for your britches here?

I know it is not in your job description, and it's most certainly not what you expected to be doing when you took that fancy-schmancy "Social Media in the 21st Century" class. But, hey, this is what work is like, everyone doing a bit for everyone else.

Along these same lines, here is a one-sentence, absolutely killer piece of advice. Follow this advice, and write me back in 20 years to let me know how it worked out for you. DO THE JOBS NO ONE ELSE WANTS TO DO. My Grandpa said that. It means if there is a job not getting done because it is either too hard, too messy, or too demeaning, go ahead and do it. Reputations are made doing this, I kid you not.

I realize that some of these jobs cross the line... picking up the owner's dry cleaning, baby-sitting her kids, or helping her clean her house.

Instead of complaining like most people, why don't you simply assume goodwill, and assume that your doing these crummy jobs will help the business. It may help if only because it frees up the primary revenue producer from a mundane task that she has calculated can be best handled by you. You are, in effect, saving her time to do more, make more.

In the meantime, swallow your pride a bit, and do it all in good humor.

G. L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, and his blog can be found at or at