Stress is an all too familiar feeling in our lives. For most of us, work does nothing to relieve this feeling of stress. A busy and longer than normal day in the office leaves me feeling drained, only to get home and just get depressed if I have to finally do a load of laundry or work on that graveyard of dishes. These long days can be caused by procrastination; I am no stranger to that.
But sometimes there is just no avoiding them because your company is understaffed. This could be temporary due to a large project your business development team shot for the moon on and got because it was drastically underbid. Or it could just be business as usual because that is your company’s business model – keep the overhead low. Either way, I am sure most have experienced this feeling.
I am here to tell you that this only means good things for you. When your company is understaffed, there will hardly ever be a slow season. And from first-hand experience, slow seasons are no bueno. I was laid off of my first job out of college because the bonehead president on-boarded six new people in hopes to land a huge job, and then four of us got axed when he didn’t. I don’t wish that feeling on anyone. It’s a feeling of hopelessness you experience immediately after being let go. It’s very easy to slide into a dark place when you are unemployed, and searching for jobs is not the most fun thing to do.
In an understaffed environment, there is always work to go around. Even if you wrap up a project or a task earlier than you expected, there will always be someone else who is drowning in work that could use a hand. Those black mark admin hours on your time sheet will be few and far between. This means your time is billable, and the company is making money off of you. Understaffed offices run at a very high utilization rate so there is very little dead weight in the company.
With fewer people, there is usually more money to go around, whether that be in the form of bonuses or raises. You are extremely valuable to your company and that is acknowledged. When bonus season rolls around, there are less mouths to feed. And when raises are due, you are more likely to get one. The company will be more willing to give you an extra few grand a year than go through the process of finding and hiring a new guy. I mean let’s face it, they are too busy for that.
Hopefully your company plans on growing and expanding, providing more opportunities for you professionally. But being understaffed is not all bad. In today’s world, job stability takes priority over most other aspects of a career (at least in my opinion). Our nation is fucked with these two clowns that are on the ballot come November. At this point in my debt-riddled life, I just need a job. And with a company that is currently extremely understaffed, I know I’ll have one. I’ve caught myself complaining about being busy at work before, but when you actually stop and think about it, it is not a bad problem to have. .