“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”
Every single job that you’ll ever have is an opportunity for you have an impact on an organization, other people and drive growth within yourself.
1. Get to know other departments.
Building connections with your co-workers is essential to having a meaningful work experience. These are the people that you will spend the majority of your waking hours with. Building strong working relationships with your co-workers will help you be more efficient and make them your support system when problems arise (easy solve)
Getting to know co-workers in other departments to learn about your company and understand how your role fits in the organization. All it takes is a coffee or a lunch break, and there are absolutely no downsides – you’ll grow your network, make a friend, find a mentor or even offer guidance. You may even identify opportunities to diversity your skills (e.g.: through cross-functional training) or help break down departmental silos.
2. Stay educated.
Education does not end once you’ve graduated from school. You’ll never lose your competitive edge as long as your keep learning and stay on top of trends. This doesn’t necessarily involve taking courses. Sign up for industry newsletters and relevant reading lists. Replace your morning Buzzfeed allotment with the Daily Muse. Research new methods of doing your work. Improve your soft skills by sign up workshops or Toastmasters. Get out of the office and network. Study the competition, assess long-term opportunities for the company. Think critically and keep your brain engaged in your work.
3. Build solutions.
Go beyond fulfilling your job description and find ways to add extra value. There’s absolutely no way that everything in the company is going smoothly, there are always opportunities for improvement. Identify a
problem challenge that you can address to drive efficiency and success. Don’t limit yourself by the rules of your task; present ideas that challenge the status quo. Coming up with solutions can be easy — it’s getting the buy-in from others that is the challenge (this is where tip #1 can give you a boost).
This isn’t limited to your work-related tasks – you can add identify opportunities for improvement in the company culture by even getting involved in committees.
4. When you’ve hit a plateau, you move on.
There’s nothing worse than going in every morning to do a job that no longer feels stimulating. Getting the most out of your work involves continuously challenging yourself. Once you’ve mastered the job, no longer face growth-driving challenges, or see any opportunities for career progression, it’s time to move on.
Reassess your career goals and get looking. By now, you’d have built a strong network, proven a great work ethic, and build a reputation as a problem-solver. It’s time to start harvesting what you’ve sowed.