Jul 23 0 Responses

The 3 Most Important Steps You Can Take To Be Awesome At Your Job

Can you imagine anything less human than the inner-workings of a pocket watch? The gears grind with a sole purpose, and the hands tick with precision. There is no wasted motion, no need to adapt. There is only efficiency.

They’re very good at doing exactly what they’re supposed to do, and often, people think if they come in and act like that watch, they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to do.

But our value as humans does not come from mimicking machines. Our value comes from doing things uniquely human. It comes from seeing a problem and thinking differently. It comes from analyzing situations and creating opportunities.

We cannot view ourselves as some cog in a corporate wheel. We have to be engaged. We have to have our heads up, and we have to be looking for opportunities.

Step 1: Grow

Take responsibility for your career. You have to be constantly learning. The very best employees, the most engaged employees, are the ones who are proactively figuring out ways to be better. You should have an answer for, “What have you done in the last 6 months to be better at doing what you do?”

The power of 1%
Power of 1%In 2009 Alfred Lin, then COO of Zappos, sent a letter to his employees talking about the power of 1%. In it, he explained if you could improve by just 1% every single day, this time next year, you would be 37 times better than you are right now.

It is a simple illustration, but it absolutely shows the power of growth.

Step 2: Treat The Company Like It’s Yours

We’d all be better off if we acted a bit more like an unfunded startup and bit less like some VC just gave us $100 million to blow. Be selfless when assessing need vs. want. Question purchases, and ask why something useful is getting thrown out.

It’s so easy to think of your company as an entity sending you checks every two weeks, but company growth is a collective effort. I’m not saying invite friends over to your house for a sales pitch thinly disguised as a party, but if you believe your company offers a high quality product or fills some real need in the marketplace, keep your ears open for opportunities.

Step 3: Be Happy

No one is going to be rainbows and unicorns every day, but we can all bring positivity every day. Take care of your co-workers. Celebrate their successes, and learn from their failures. Be looking for reasons to give credit as opposed to reasons to criticize.

Great co-workers will push you to be who you are, to be the best at what you do. That’s what engagement is all about. And if that is a little too fluffy for you, I’ll leave you with this:

According to Gallup’s really long and somewhat dry PDF, companies with engaged employees are 16% more profitable, 18% more productive, have 12% more loyal customers, and produce 60% higher quality products than those with disengaged employees.

Engagement is not a fluffy concept. It’s not the icing on the cake; it’s the flour in the batter. You want to be awesome at your job? Get engaged.

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