In this new era of entrepreneurship, it’s easy to jump the gun on leaping into your own venture. We’ve made being a boss look so sexy, that a regular 9-5 starts to seem mundane or subpar to this grand life we could otherwise have.
Although that might very well be the case, it is also quite possible that we are so busy hating our jobs that we forget to learn from them. Here’s a rundown of the life lessons you might be missing from work:
The way my work ethic is set up, I just knew I’d have a flawless end of year review as I wrapped up year one at my job. I clearly thought wrong. There, in plain English, was a note to work on increasing my confidence. Turns out, playing it safe by verifying every little thing with my manager was getting on his last nerve.
Instead, he expected me to trust my own judgment enough to pull the trigger on deals and initiatives without crawling to him for validation.
At the very least, it was my responsibility to confidently offer up a solution and seek feedback on whether it aligned with his vision. Instead, I was operating with training wheels – too nervous to fully take charge.
From this experience, I learned the importance of trusting my decision-making. Before you can ever fully be successful, you’ll be tasked with letting go of the Imposter Syndrome that often holds us back. Be determined to have a take-charge attitude in all that you do. You’ll find that you are equipped with everything you need to make it happen. You just have to be confident enough to do it.
Have a Plan
Once a quarter, my company hosts a huge meeting. In it, we discuss the progress of the company as well as any setbacks we’ve faced. Next, we review a report which assesses the reason for these outcomes and covers our roadmap for the new quarter. Boring but crucial. Without a solid plan, companies will never experience true growth.
Our dreams are a lot like this. We need an ever-evolving game-plan for success. The roadmap will always change according to setbacks and accomplishments. Nevertheless, it ensures that we stay the course. It’s how we stay focused on our own intended outcomes.
Whether you’re looking to launch your own business, expand your skillset, or settle down in a relationship, you’ve gotta have a plan.
Get in the habit of evaluating where you are vs. where you hope to be by the next quarter. Afterward, be strategic about how you can get to your point. You’ll be a step closer to measurable results you can see.
Do More Than Required
It turns out that most women earn promotions and raises at work by demonstrating that they are doing more than the duties spelled out under their job descriptions.
This leverage puts them in a position to speak to the value they add and thus advocate for more money. Going the extra mile will always make you stand out and set the tone for more opportunities. Make it a common practice to do more than required and you’ll always come out on top in the end.
Cut the Fat
My company recently underwent a merger. The end result was a lot of overlap in company-wide responsibilities, and a ton of folks who just couldn’t get with the new direction of the corporation. These two factors had the potential to affect the business’ bottom line. This led to layoffs and reorganizations in an effort to ensure company stability. While unfortunate, the company chose to do what it felt was in its own best interest. Such is life.
When we get rid of the things that no longer align with our purpose, we allow ourselves to grow and evolve. When we don’t, we risk negative outcomes and setbacks.
Be mindful of the things attached to you and consciously assess whether they are helpful or harmful to your focus. If it no longer serves you, cut it so that you can thrive.
It’s All About Who You Know
At work, nothing gets done without proper sign off from designated supervisors. Those that are in this position hold the power of the pen, and their influence is considered the determining factor on whether an initiative is funded or an interviewee gets the job.
We learn that making things happen requires us to first get in the room. From the right interactions we are able to present ideas and initiatives, request raises, and develop rapport. When we fail to do these things, we are simply overlooked.
Getting in front of the right people works the same in our personal lives. Connections make the world go round. Make a valiant effort to connect with people who can help propel your goals. Make the sacrifice to pay for that conference or attend that social. It’s the only way you’ll be able to learn who the movers and shakers are and learn from them.
Be a Sales Pro
Whether you realize it or not, a major component of any job involves selling. Each week when I submit story ideas to xoNecole I am attempting to sell them on why readers will love my latest piece. When you are completing tasks early or providing outstanding performance results, it is all in an effort to sale the right people on your capabilities. In turn, this leads to opportunities for growth.
Without this vital component, you might never receive a raise or a bonus, or worst, you might be let go.
Whether it’s to avoid negative outcomes or yield more positive results, on a day-to-day basis, we sell ourselves. Keep that same energy when it comes to your career. Look at each interaction as an opportunity to sell yourself. You never know who’s watching your pitch and how it can work to your benefit in the future.
Put your best foot forward at all times and blessings will keep falling in your lap.
Always Add Value
Your employer is still in business because their company adds value in some way.
Their product alleviates a stress point or solves a particular problem for customers. Regardless of the industry or commodity, the company continues to function because of its proven worth. The moment the company fails at this function, it becomes expendable and will likely close its doors.
As an independent queen working for your throne, nothing is more important than showcasing the value you bring to the table. Everything we do should be reflective of this mindset. It’s the stuff that thriving brands and awesome promotions are made of. Learn how you add value, and flaunt it in ways that make you indispensable to those around you.