Your Job Is No Longer Your Job
By Susan Fenner PhD, IAAP Education and Professional Development Manager
There are many of us who feel comfortable doing what we consider to be “our jobs.” Usually that means doing what we have done in the past and are familiar with. However, in today’s workplace, the secret to success is not to do “our job,” but rather to “do what needs to be done.” That is our job! And that may mean that we have to tackle things we’ve never done before or accomplish things that used to be done by someone else. It may mean that we have to get the skills (and quickly) so that we can get on with our tasks. But...that’s just how it is.
Today’s workplace is so different than it was in the past. We used to know what we were responsible for doing and had time to get it done. We set the work pace and told others when they could expect the results.
In today’s sped-up workplace, something needs to be done immediately and somebody is told to “do it.” You’re not asked, “Have you done this before,” or “Do you know how to do this?” or “Do you have time to do this with what you’re already working on?” We get, “Here. Do it!” And if we want to stay employable, we somehow manage to get it done. At times that means we must work faster, reprioritize things already assigned, or come in early, stay late, or work on the weekend. We no longer have the luxury of getting trained on the job, taking a class, or easing into it. We, “Just do it.” (Like the Nike commercial.)
That’s what makes an employee valuable today. It’s not what you’ve shown you can do well. Rather, it’s what you can do without being shown!
So do what you can to develop initiative, change your work pace to accommodate more assignments, don’t excessively question the delegator but find your own answers, get connected with a professional network so you can get help for new challenges, cultivate a mind set that says, “I can do it,” reach out for new responsibilities, and think innovation.
If you do, then soon, you’ll be voted “the most valuable player” on your team!
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