Sucking up isn’t the only way
Contrary to popular demand there are many alternatives to sucking up that will put you ahead of the game and help you gain traction within your company and with your managers.
In fact with the way people see through each other more and more nowadays unless your boss is one who eats that type of behavior up I would say it’s altogether a terrible strategy for “climbing the ladder.”
Today I offer you tips of the trade that have helped me rise in my career and what I have seen from others in related industries. These tricks of the trade can carry over from a small business of three to a Fortune 500 company. It also doesn’t matter if you are in accounting, video production, sales, or broadcasting… there is a certain way you can go about your trade regardless of your department that will help you become a more and more valuable employee every single day!
1. Yes, it is your job
Don’t ever utter the words “That’s not my job” ever again. If you are working for a company and they ask you about something it is your job. Those that believe that’s not my job are essentially telling their management that they are fine to work 9 to 5, punching the clock, getting a 1% raise every two to three years, and working until the day they have to move into a retirement home.
It is your job to help find a solution if you want to prove yourself worthy. You may not have a clue about the question or it may not be your department but you don’t answer with “not my problem.” If it is a simple task that you know you can accomplish correctly then just take care of it and do it. If it’s a more complicated quest then you have a few options: you can politely let them know your area of expertise and how you could certainly work on it but may need some guidance, or you can find someone who will handle that request for you, or you can find a partial solution.
There’s no one way to handle it other than not saying “That’s not my job.”
2. It’s a race to the top not to the bottom: Prove your value
Seth Godin, aka the smartest marketer alive, has often said that if you want to race to the bottom then try to compete and sell on lowest price but if you want to race to the top then compete on value.
Just the same with your upper management…prove your value each and every day. There are certain tasks that a blind cat could do for your company. Don’t get yourself lumped in as someone who can only accomplish those tasks. Make it a goal every single day to do some incredibly tough and thought provoking work for your company. Show that you are there to go to the top and not get dragged down to the bottom.
Examples of this may include:
- Innovative solutions to current problems
- More efficient ways to get difficult tasks accomplished
- New programs that will create employee excitement
- Out of office ideas to built team rapport and loyalty, etc.
The more value you create the further you will go in life. If you continue to create value and it’s not appreciated don’t get frustrated. You are gaining plenty of experience for when you decide to fire the company you work for and go to one that will truly acknowledge and recognize the valuable work you are putting forth each and every day.
3. Stand Out
Hot Dog Stand Marketing is my creation of how I believe we need to treat customers, clients, and people in the coming decades. One thing we need to do is stand out completely from all competition if we want to succeed.
What are you doing to stand out??
Have you offered to lead a meeting? Are you writing a weekly newsletter or blog with industry related ideas? Have you brought a new way of thinking to attract more business or new customers? Brought the negativity and gossip to a head and turned it into positive engaging conversation? Refused to engage in inner office gossip? Joined a club to help you get better out of your own time?
Think about your current situation and what you are doing. If nothing comes to mind it’s time to think about some of the above ideas and what you can do.
And you are right. These are hard and time consuming projects. But if we want to stay ahead of the game, gain traction, and be valuable then that is what you need to do. The days of getting ahead just by showing up to work on time are long gone!
Volunteer your time, your thoughts, your ideas, and yourself as much as possible. When something needs help…you are the one to help it. It will set you leaps and bounds apart from those that cower their heads in their desk every time something that needs doing gets asked to be done.
5. Be Yourself
People recognize fake and lack of authenticity. The most important thing you can do every day is simply be yourself. Don’t fall for the anecdote that “this is who they want me to be so I’ll do it.”
You are special, you are excellent at what you do, and you should be confident in that. You are bringing a different perspective to the table every single day you set foot in that office. Just because you don’t like the same music, spend your evenings differently, or don’t care to engage in the same activities as your upper management doesn’t mean you should conform. They’ll respect your value that you bring to the gig, and if they don’t as I said before, you’ll be able to gain lots of experience before letting them know they’ve been released of their duties as being your employer.
The #1 most important action that I have taken every day that has me ready to enter my 12th year of 100% commission sales this June is to be myself. If I am anything else I am doing myself and all those around me a disservice and my work won’t be as great as it could be.
The employee of the year award is nice, but it’s not necessary. Your goal is to get ahead of the game and stay ahead of the game. To gain traction by doing difficult and valuable work that no one else in your company does and that your upper management can’t do without.
You want to be known as being trusted, dedicated, innovative, intelligent, positive, and a true go getter.
You can do the difficult work and climb to the top or you can do the easy work that makes an employee easily replaceable and go for a race to the bottom.
The answer to me is easy. I’m sure you agree with me, but know that it won’t be the most popular or easy way.
But in the end you, whatever you represent, and the world at large will be the winner because of what you accomplished. And that should make any person sleep good at night!
Have a great day all, Carpe Diem!