What makes you different?
When everyone in your company is striving to achieve the same objective, how do you standout amongst your colleagues? What makes you different from Bobby and Suzy if everyone is trying to seek the approval of the same executive management and out perform each other? No really.. I’m asking you because I have no idea.
There are times in your career when you push yourself out of the ordinary to go above and beyond your expectations with the hope that your efforts will pay off in some form of reward. Sometimes the reward is paid in monetary value other times it is just the simple acknowledgement of your company. Whatever your incentive may have been or is, there is no guarantee that the time you invest and the effort you have made will play out in your favor. So what can you do to increase your chances of being recognized for your high performance?
(1.) Be genuine. Don’t expect to be rewarded for efforts that only benefit yourself. Your talents are worth more than that. When you begin working on a project, think of ways that your efforts will result in mutual benefit for your entire company and your professional development. Think as big as what you can do to contribute to your company’s financial bottom line or as small as sharing your previous experiences with your teammates to ensure their success. Simple and small but extremely genuine.
(2.) Trust your instincts. When you’ve set a foundation of pure intentions, don’t second guess yourself. Trust your instincts on what you feel is right. At the end of the project, if your name is on the dotted line, make sure that whatever decisions you have made are your decisions. Listen to the voice inside your head and don’t doubt yourself because you were assigned to the project for a reason.
(3.) Know your shortcomings. Even super heroes knew their weaknesses and it never stopped them from achieving their goals. Even if you aren’t good at one thing, you are great at many other things, so leverage those strengths to obtain your objectives. Knowing your shortcomings doesn’t mean you dwell on them, it simply means you know what your limitations are and you master them through compensating them with your strengths.
(4.) Be a team player. Teamwork makes the dream work. If you are the most senior on the project, your team relies on your experience and leadership but your team also has the ability to contribute a new and fresh perspective, so allow the opportunity come to life. Conversely, if you are an emerging professional, don’t be timid to think out loud and share your ideas. Your team will appreciate your energy and enthusiasm.
(5.) And, above all – be confident. Don’t be afraid of a learning opportunity. The lack of confidence usually stems from fear — the fear of mistakes, rejection, falling short of expectations, and judgement. But the truth is – the outcome is bound to happen, so let it happen confidently. No matter what happens at the end of the day, one thing is for sure – you’ll learn from it. So, sit up in the conference room and speak up at your meetings – you are who you are and you should be proud of it.
If you’ve been true to yourself and put all your cards out on the table but there’s still no traction in your professional career then it leads us to a totally different topic – do you fit into your company’s culture? Have you outgrown your position and exceeded your talent offerings and is it time to move on to allow other people’s talents to shine through? Maybe its time for you to leave your legacy and continue on your journey….