Most of you understand the benefits of a promotion. The fact that you are moving forward and not standing still is a positive sign. In fact, most people who shoot for the status quo end up going backwards. Why? Doing nothing means that you are actually falling behind, and eventually you will become obsolete. When you are obsolete, you are replaced, and others wonder why it took so long to get rid of you.
There are strategies you can implement today to make yourself more marketable within your organization. I am not going to share anything totally new, and it will not be too difficult to put into practice. The hard part is recognizing the areas for improvement, and making the investment in change. That’s right! You will need to transform into someone else.
#1: Determine the High Priority Work
Here’s a fact: The routine work that you do can be done by someone earning minimum wage. If you define work as checking email, you have a mediocre mindset. I understand that reviewing your email is important, and you must do it everyday, but busy work will not set you apart from the rest of the pack.
Here is how you can be different: You receive 50 emails per day. From those emails, you determine the five that are most important. You want to know which ones contain action items that must get done ASAP. The trick is to spend the rest of the day working on those five items. The other 45 emails can wait for another day. In fact, in some cases you can ignore them altogether. Your day should consist only of doing meaningful work. Do everything possible to delegate low-level tasks, or those 45 other emails.
#2: Be Visible – Don’t be Casper the Ghost!
You are right … the opposite of visible in invisible. When you are asked to attend a meeting, show up and do your part. Practice Management by Wandering Around. You want others to see that you understand the requirements, and you are willing to do your part. If your team is working on the weekends, you should also participate. In other words, when work is important, you are available. This advice alone can quickly move you to the front of the line.
#3: Avoid the Petty Stuff
“Sir, I can’t stand working with Beth. She is moody.” Who really cares if Beth is moody? I know I don’t. I know moody people who are high-performers. Here is another fact: I think it often takes a moody person to determine if someone else is moody. Right?
Stay focused on what matters the most. You are hired to deliver results, and you must have the ability to mesh the different personalities. It is impossible to find a homogenous workforce, so be prepared for conflict. Be ready for people to complain and to tell you why things can’t be done. You must avoid this problem. Take a big picture perspective. You were assigned objectives, a deadline, and a particular result. Regardless of the petty stuff that surfaces, get the work done. In the end, nothing else matters.
These three tips can make a huge difference in your career. Remember that thinking “small” will lead to “small” results. In fact, those who understand how the pieces are integrated will eventually surpass you. Assume full accountability for your future, and avoid getting bogged down by the stuff that doesn’t matter.