It is a common knowledge that no two employees are the same. They might have the same qualification, the same number of years of experience; operating at the same administrative level; they might have been employed the same time; but their level of efficiency might not be the same. This has informed why many employees spend many years in one particular position and possibly retire or quit out of frustration. Like the biblical rapture description, two people were employed as clerks, one was taken to be a manger and the other remained a subordinate. Many employees lose their jobs each time the organization feels the need to retrench some redundant staff. Some have lost their jobs to inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Let us look at some quintessential steps one can take to keep oneself in the active book of the employers.
- Understand Your Boss:
The fact that you succeeded with boss A does not mean boss B is a work over. The first step towards excelling in your job is to actually know your boss. Where does your boss place his premiums? What are his values (physical, social, spiritual, intellectual,)? What are his standards? How does he think and act? Is he meticulous? Does he pay attention to every detail? You need to take time to understudy your boss and strategically position your thoughts and actions to align with his. You understand his moves and gestures. When your boss makes an official statement in your presence, you’re expected to start working on it immediately. Ask him questions if you get stuck. You don’t have to be his friend; you don’t even have to like him; but, you must know him. Note that resenting your boss is not worse than showing it.
- Understand Your Job Well and Do it Well:
This is the basic summary of the whole thing. For you to present the best of yourself, you must understand your job description well. You should be able to analyze your duties and have them at your finger tips. Take your job personal and be passionate about it. Do not work because your boss or your supervisor is around the corner; let the job be part of you and demonstrate that personal attachment to it. You should be able to go extra mile in it and bring out the best in you and in the job results. You must not be caught up by deadlines or put your self under an unnecessary pressure thereby doing a haphazard job. You should be able to identify limitations in the old way of doing things and think of opening new frontiers.
- Develop Sense of Initiative:
Do you wait to be told everything before you act? Do you work like a robot, so limited to what is said or what was on ground? You need to push your job higher by taking initiative. Note that initiative does not imply taking decision without your boss or on his behalf. It means discovering new things in the course of your job and making suggestions to him. It means telling him that this is the challenge you just discovered and this is what you’re about to do about it. With this, you’re seeking for his approval and also proving your competence. Do not go telling your boss about an imminent challenge without telling him what you think should be done. This will make him believe you’re really flying with him.
- Avoid Error Codes (Produce Results; Damn the Excuses)
Many workers are very good at delivering error codes rather than results. Instead of doing the job assigned, they come back to report the problem they encountered and prove to you why that assignment cannot be done. Rather than produce results, they manufacture a very beautiful excuse to make you ‘understand’ that the job couldn’t haven been done. This happens even with the simplest of duties. For instance, the dispatch officer has been ill and absent from work for days, therefore all letters must wait. The internet is down; therefore, that important mail must wait. You should learn how to get the job done despite challenges. You must be up with your acts to ensure that alternative ideas and options are explored. Plan B is always an integral part of every decision making process. Just get the job done at an appropriate time.
- Be Professional and Avoid Distractions:
In avoiding distractions, you must act professionally always. The office is not a food canteen; it’s not a gossip center; it’s not a salon or a cosmetic shop. You must avoid gossips at all times; you might have some personal information about your boss; that is not your business! You don’t have to discuss it with a third party. Remember, your boss is not your friend! Whoever sees you must see the professionalism in your approach to everything. Be very courteous, be cheerful, be positive, and don’t be too sensitive. Feel free but not loose. Draw a line between personal and official matters. Control your emotions and don’t take anything out on your colleagues; see your colleagues as team mates and play your role well.
- Get organized:
Being disorganized breeds confusion. Your table must be clean at all times. This gives you a better view and a clear mind to think. When your table is filled with a lot of documents and papers, chances are that you’ll get not just confused but tired of the whole thing. If your job involves document keeping, you must know where a particular file is kept, be it soft or hard copy. You must categorize your folders so you can easily access them. Your office must be free from all kinds of unnecessary items. Sometimes, when you enter an office, you’ll be tempted to ask “Is this an office or a store?”
- Set New Goals.
Setting new goals will first of all involve being goal oriented. Always set clear goals. Set new goals when your current goal is achieved. Do not allow the organization to outgrow you! You must know that what trends in your organization this year may become obsolete in the coming year. You can achieve this by doing some research on your job; you’ll discover new ideas and innovations that’ll push you higher than your rating. You must think ahead; device a comparative advantage mechanism; prove that the organization can depend on your abilities and skills. Sell new ideas to your boss and you’re gradually making yourself an asset to the organization. You might soon be taken up to a management level.
Those who excel are those who prove to be assets to the organization they work with. Make yourself an asset and you’ll excel.