Are you making yourself invaluable in your company? Great, you have a job. How are you making sure that you’re the best at what you do? Maybe you think you should be paid more. So how are you going to prove this point?
This is a crossroad I have found myself at more than one occasion. When determining if you’re as valuable as you think you are, there is one determining factor that needs to be addressed. Are you the hardest working person that you know? If not, then you need to re-think your approach. To be the most talented or successful person requires more than thinking you’re more than a high self-valuation. Excellence comes with experience and, most importantly, hard work. Why do you think Malcolm Gladwell attributes expertise and success with the “10,000 hour rule,” in his book, Outliers? Part of the achieving greatness is to hone your skills for 10,000 hours until you are considered the best in your field.
This just touches the surface. It’s not only the amount of time you put into something, but also what you take from this time and experience.
What have you learned?
Have you made the necessary adjustments and used the knowledge you’ve learned along the way to improve your skills? The reason I’m talking about this is because I’m tired of hearing, “why am I not successful yet?” or “I can do so much better than “this job”. When you think you’re an A-player you need to act the part. Don’t sit back and wait for your big break to happen because ultimately that is wishful thinking mixed with a sense of entitlement. You need to do whatever it takes to get to where you want to be.
Let’s say you’re a salesman. When’s the last time you broke down your approach and re-evaluated what has been working and what has not? Did you take the time to build your technological skills and brush up on readily available sales resources?
I have a friend in the financial industry. He knew his role was important to his team, but he knew he could use his skills to increase productivity and efficiency within the company. Here’s what he did. There were simple tasks, such as data input into spreadsheets and analyzing these fields to organize the data into the right categories. The issue was that this type of task was consuming at least 25% of their workday even though such tasks could be automated to leave more time available for projects, which require much more thinking. Basically they were wasting time doing busy work, when they had bigger tasks that required the skills that his department was trained for. His team took on the task of developing a new system that was automated data input and organization, which they built during their free time. They effectively increased the productivity of their labor by 25% and the firm rewarded him with a promotion for his initiative and hard work.
This is where you need to evaluate your company structure. Does your company have a top-down hierarchal structure? Then, present your ideas to your boss first with your idea and be ready to implement these changes. On the other hand, if your job expects you do make these changes on your own, then have a plan of action to make these adjustments demonstrating how your ideas will have a positive effect on the company’s success. Make yourself invaluable through being the hardest worker that you know and putting your money where your mouth is. Otherwise, what’s the point? Just remember to consult your company and specifically your co-workers about the idea to make sure your new process or idea aligns with the firm’s vision, and does not make someone’s job obsolete.
The moral of the story is: work harder and smarter, until they call you Mr. Badass.