Faize M. El-Khali
Landing a job does not necessarily land financial or career security. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics over a 12 month period ending in November 2019 there were a total of 67.5 million separations, which include layoffs and discharges. There is still much that needs to be done above and beyond the job requirements. Just doing the status quo is not what companies look for in high potential employees instead challenge yourself. The misconception that employees create value to companies just by doing what they were hired to do is misleading.
Whether a full-time, part-time, or intern employee it is important to create value in your job to be valuable to your team and the company. In my conversation with Ryan Miller, a certified professional resume writer from Employment Boost, says, “Common mistakes that students make when landing an internship are to not maximize the opportunity that can come from it. Oftentimes, interns develop reputations for doing the bare minimum and not trying to demonstrate more value within their companies. Interns should be like sponges, trying to learn every skill they can, but imagine the impression that an intern can make if they contribute to an idea that saves their company time or money. Interns should actively try to demonstrate value.”
New or current employees can work towards being experts in their professions by first mastering the basics, viz. job requirements and effective communication. Second, by dropping unproductive work habits such multitasking that leads to incomprehensive results and instead using a more focused approach. Finally, by adding value to the position and organization. Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Outliers, and Blink suggests that it takes 10,000 hours, or approximately 5 years, of practice to become an expert at any one task. Becoming an expert requires a sincere and genuine desire to do the job. Therefore, be selective in your choice of company and available opportunities. Because, if you are not passionate about the job or company strategy then you won’t become an expert at it. To that point, in addition to time Angela Duckworth author of Grit says that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent or IQ, but a special blend of passion – working toward a defined goal – and perseverance – tendency not to abandon tasks in the face of obstacles – she calls “grit.”
Thus, be “gritty” and find that job that will drive and motivate you. When corporate leaders are asked what distinguishes top performers from the rest at an early stage they were quick to answer. Matthew Ciancio, Director of GM Sales at Robert Bosch LLC, says, “Motivation. The best employees dive right into their new role with extreme enthusiasm and aren’t afraid to ask questions.” The Director of Marketing Strategy at Bosch Automotive Service Don Barduca also echoes that and adds, “They desire to own their task work. They endeavor to improve not just over their predecessor but continually over their prior benchmarks as well. They are forward looking but at the same time aware of current needs. Finally, they bring a high level of technical prowess to the job.” Therefore, focus on finding your job fit since success is almost guaranteed to follow.
Yet, sometimes the job can come with a bully of a boss, or coworkers, and that does hinder growth and drives down morale. Although, that is a learning experience and is part of the corporate growth. The bigger the company the greater the chances of dealing with challenging personalities. Therefore, it is important to stay focused on the job and put aside personal feelings and instead work on developing an ability to deal with situations in a sensitive and effective manner.
Hence, whether it is in the medical, law, or corporate arena find a job that you will enjoy and work towards being an expert. Experts are never content with the status quo. Their responses to requests or challenges are not, “Sorry, that’s not possible,” but rather, “I’ll find a way.” That is why experts are offered more choices and opportunities as they are perceived to be more valuable to a company. The value of knowing information as well as recognizing when others know what we do not is valuable.