No matter how much job satisfaction we might have, or no matter how long we’ve worked to get into a specific industry and job role, there are times where you might feel like a simple cog in a machine. This feeling can be hard to shake off, and can start to harm your productivity. It might come at a point where you start to feel truly comfortable and no longer need to progress in your career. It might come when you’re at the teetering edge of wanting to launch a business but still needing to get more experience. It might come when you’re desperate to prove yourself but you’re not sure where to begin.
A great solution to this is to try and work on your character, and also try to excel compared to those in your peer group. Staying ahead of your professional peer group can be achieved in a number of ways. First, you need to realize it takes hard work, and shouldn’t give you justification to dismiss your peers as people. Second, you’ll have to realize that this process humbles you as much as it helps you. And third… well, the third, fourth, fifth and sixth points are quite complex. Let us dive into further detail:
Don’t Be Afraid Of Hard Work
There’s often something that takes place when the fire to impress a boss or set of colleagues leaves you. It most often happens when someone has been in a position for some time. The long you’re involved with a workplace, the more and more you realize small methods to ‘game the system,’ as it were. This might be a way to hit two birds with one stone but complete neither task to the full standard. It might be where you can save minutes of your day here and there, or small things, such as realizing that if you write on your ‘clock out’ sheet that you left slightly later than you did, you’re paid more, and no one ever checks up on it.
These little issues can often cause you to feel bad, but you might think that engaging in them is worth the price of admission. However, even small and innocent shortcuts can sometimes lead to massive shortcuts, and that might mean you feel less and less enthused to actually commit to the hard tasks. In other words, your fire and passion can be drained from you, by yourself. For this reason, when you notice yourself slipping like this, it’s once again important to redouble your efforts and ensure that you’re staying ahead of the standard you need. After all, if you’re not committing your full effort to the business, you never know just how much this might impact your job security.
To better explain this, we need to consider an example. Let’s pretend you’re working as a chef in a busy mid-city restaurant. A guest walks in and suggests they have a gluten allergy. You know that gluten-free products are a trend right now, and so you don’t quite take the ‘allergy’ part seriously. In order to prepare a gluten free meal, you need to disinfect the entire surface area, and wash utensils before you prepare certain items. This feels like too much effort, and you have many dishes on right now anyway. So you decide to forgo the proper practice. Then, low and behold, you notice they are being affected by gluten contact after serving the meal. You’re going to wish that you didn’t cut that corner.
While not cutting corners isn’t exactly something that can skyrocket you above your peers, it’s something that without which, you’re certain to never move beyond ‘below average to average’ in your firm, and negative attitudes will develop. By ensuring you always commit to the gold standard, your attitude is preserved, and you also gain more respect for yourself. This can help you:
Always Keep The Professional Attitude
It’s very important to stay humble and professional in all things. During the course of business life, you’re going to meet people you aren’t a fan of. They might be people you simply do not gel with in the office, or a boss who seems to be on your back something special today. If you aggressively chasitise anyone who disagrees with you or is slightly rude, you’re not going to go far. Learning how to brush dirt off your shoulder and always keep upbeat can be a massive benefit. It’s not always enough to simply turn up on time and dress well, but what your attitude is, and how you respond to all kinds of challenge that will help you get noticed, and start transforming you into a leader.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t defend yourself from mistreatment. But consider, if that happens, which is the best way to go about it? To fight in the office, or to meet with HR and give a full account of the experience, or even heading to the police or trading authority should you need to? One can destroy your professional relationship for some time, one can help you retain your dignity. Be sure to always, always, always choose the latter here.
Read & Learn Around Your Subject
A proactive member of any business, particularly a person who wishes to run their own firm one day, needs to understand how to take responsibility for their own professional development. You can’t always expect a morning business briefing or training qualification placement to give you the keys to your professional knowledge.
Ideally, this should be something you engage in, willingly, by yourself. Reading and learning around your subject can help you open your eyes to the possibilities out there, help you engage with other specialisms, and maybe even help you with insight no one else has. Understanding the fundamentals of your business processes, reading deeply into the company you work for, and trying to continually become better than your most recent challenge is all a positive effort no matter how you look at it.
You might also consider how you could employ this information in the most convenient manner possible. Finally an Amazon Skill for agency folks has been developed, allowing you to get the best aggregate of news and trends straight to your Echo device. This way, even waking up, you can be informed of the most important business protocols when your mindset is ready for it.
Being several steps above those in your office who fail to do this can help you retain an air of authority and will also help you grasp more complex concepts quickly, helping you become a shoe-in for that promotion or even giving you the confidence to do things better. And to that, we might add:
The only difficulty with repeat, habitual processes is that we can often stop looking at them as things to be improved, and just regard them as static measures to be conducted each and every day. For that reason, we can often avoid taking a deeper look into how we operate. However, it’s the small things that comprise our life which might benefit most from a renewed look, either trying to adapt that process to modern times or reapplying our professional development to that. For example, it might be that you’ve been utilizing a simple program to engage your important information together each morning, and complete your first tasks. But now, because of your insight due to your personal development at home, you’ve realized that doing this is just a waste of time, because you can already complete that task before the need for being notified ever occurs.
Optimizing your approach can work in ever-so-many fields. For example, you might find that learning how to write emails with minimal flowery language can help you isolate your point much more quickly. This will be looked at favorably, and also saves you time. It might be that learning how to discipline more effectively can help you get your disappointment across in a manner that doesn’t feel debilitating for someone under you. It might be finally drawing the strength to have that conversation with a professional contact you dislike, and airing your grievances for good. It might be steadily trying to increase how much you can get done in the morning, before that glorious coffee energy starts to wear off. It all has an effect, so be sure to see where it could come.
Develop Better Habits
Don’t be afraid to take responsibilitiy for your team if in a management role. Don’t be afraid to air a complaint if someone isn’t acting in a manner conducive to the job. Learn how to graciously accept success and never see failure as the end of any matter. Give yourself time to review your progress over the day, week, month and year to continually see fissures in where you could improve, and how you could do it.
With all this advice taken to heart, you will likely find yourself becoming the employee (and soon employer) you once hoped to be. We wish you only the best of luck.