Some workplaces believe in self-driven workloads while others are filled to the brim with micromanagers. For the most part, following the rules at work seems like a great idea. But, in these 7 scenarios, bending or breaking the rules at work is actually okay!
1. When You’re Given Permission: Sometimes bosses will give you a clear set of guidelines and rules to follow but they’ll also give you permission to break them. Why? Because they trust you, they believe in your talents and skills, and they’re giving you the room to either flourish or make a mistake that you can later correct.
2. When You’re Testing New Methods or Systems: Some workplaces are very stuck in their ways. If you’re collaborating with a project team whose methods and systems seem stale, why not propose new methods and systems? If you need to break the rules a bit to test out how well they work, this is a scenario where that would be acceptable.
3. When Old Habits or Patterns Aren’t Working Anymore: Have you ever worked with someone who does things a certain way just because that’s the way they’ve always done them? Sometimes it can be hard to show them the error of their ways, especially when they’re so set in their old habits and patterns. When they aren’t working anymore, you may need to bend their rules or break them to show them what could work better or that their methods don’t work at all.
4. Lack of Strict Rules or Guidelines: A lot of bosses will give you strict and specific results they need you to produce, but, unless you’re working for a micromanager, you probably won’t have strict rules or guidelines along the way. This leaves you room to innovate a little bit but, if you feel like you’re stepping out of bounds or breaking rules, just check back in. Chances are, if you don’t know the rule exists, it’s not an important rule for you to follow!
5. When You’ve Found a Better Way: Technologies eventually become obsolete and so do methodologies. If you’ve found a better way to do what you need to do at work, breaking the rules and following this new path could be a great idea. If you have the authority to change your methods on your own, do it. And, if you don’t, test out how your new method would work and then show it to your coworkers or bosses.
6. A Self-Driven Project that Requires Your Creativity: Maybe every other project you’ve worked on at this company has had a lot of strict rules and guidelines but, suddenly, you’re working on a project that requires more creativity. If you’re attempting to complete a self-driven project where innovation and creativity are encouraged, bending or breaking the rules you’re familiar with is necessary. Otherwise, you’ll end up with run-of-the-mill results that may not be what your employer is looking for.
7. When You Have Time to Fix Your Mistakes: If you never take a risk, you’ll never learn or improve. But, on the flip side, when you break the rules at work and go off on your own path, you’re always running the risk of making a mistake. As long as you have time to fix whatever mistakes you make along the way, trying out a new method rather than following the rules on your next project may lead you to a great discovery!
Whether you’re a natural rule follower or a natural rule breaker, bending or breaking the rules at work may be tempting at some point. In one of these 7 times, you can bend or break the rules without jeopardizing your current job. And your risk may pay off in the long run!