Monday, June 27, 2016

Don't Hide in Your Job

We all have a job to do. You know, that thing your company pays you to do.  Odds are you have a description of it, a list of activities you engage in to produce a product or service.

However, this description can be misleading for many who, erroneously, come to believe that their 'job' is all that they need to do; to get paid, to get promoted, to get recognition. Imagine their disappointment to discover that their 'job' is typically describing the baseline requirement for their role.

Your job may describe a series of activities you need to complete to receive your pay but don't think that simply doing your job is enough for you to get ahead. It is far too easy to show up each day and simply 'do' your job, nothing more or less.  This doesn't help to propel either you or the organisation forward.

Sure, by doing your job you are technically doing what was asked of you, and that you are paid to do, but it is playing it safe.  You can't really fail, get in trouble or make much of a mistake if you are just doing your job. In short, it is far too easy to hide out in your job, not pushing or growing your skills and abilities.
If you're not stretching, you're not adding value
We can all spend our days just doing our jobs, but it is those that are focused on taking on the true work, on adding real value, that are growing themselves and the business.  These are the people that should get ahead, because they are not interested in merely doing their job, but in changing their job, in shifting it to get at the real work.

They aren't interested in sitting complacently within a job they are comfortable in, playing it safe. Instead, they look to expand their role, identify work that is valued and needed, and get it done. This is work that changes the landscape, that creates an impact, that makes a difference.  It is work that saves money, saves time, opens new opportunities, streamlines processes, creates new revenue streams, enhances the customer experience, forges new partnerships and drives new business.
"The last thing we want is to remain as we are"     Steve Pressfield, 'Do the Work'
It has been said that your job is what you are paid to do, while work is what you were 'made' to do. How much of this work have you taken on?  How much have you avoided by hiding in your job?

If your personal mantra seems to be 'I'm just doing my job', then you are likely hiding within your job avoiding doing the real work. Sure, you've got reasons but if you accept that all the reasons you voice are merely excuses for not doing the work then you see that the biggest obstacle to your success is you.  Ask yourself...

What new challenges am I prepared to take on?
What new skills am I looking to develop or expand?
What opportunities exist for me?  For my department?  For my company?
What could be done better or differently?
Am I adding value?
Am I stretching and growing?

Any negative responses to the above questions may mean that you are hiding out within your job, getting caught in the daily to-do list but avoiding taking on anything of true value.  Know that you were made for better than this, that you are capable of 'more'.  You have to see the purpose and value of more to be willing to take it on though. It is only by focusing on the work, rather than on your job, that you are going to be living a life of passion and purpose.

So many of my clients struggle with identifying their passion, believing that it is their passion that will drive their willingness and desire to do the work, when it is the other way around.  It is by engaging in the work, physical and mental activities that accomplish something of value, that they come to experience and identify their passion.

To live a more satisfying life, to get the recognition and promotions you want, to experience the growth and fulfillment of your potential, to add value to those around you...

Do the work and quit hiding in your job. 

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