Nobody is standing in the way of your ability to create value. Your company is a canvas on which to paint and a platform through which to contribute. Not quite sure where to start this process? That’s understandable. Particularly if you are new to the team and you’re still getting your bearings at the company, it can be overwhelming to think about where to make your mark.
BITTERSWEET SPOTTING — Focusing on doing the things that nobody can do but you, and focusing on doing the things that anybody can do, but won’t
The first approach is harder, since it requires you to have a deep understanding of your own talents, skills and knowledge, and how the combination of those assets creates leverage for the team. For example, if you know what you are so good at that you make look easy, and if you know how that thing makes money, lowers expenses, increases joy, reduces friction or heals loneliness, then creating value will come naturally. But this takes years to learn. Only through real experience, and the reflection thereof with people you trust, can you truly gain and understanding of where your professional sweet spot is. Until then, consider the second approach, focusing on doing the things that anybody can do, but won’t. This doesn’t require any specific talent, skill or knowledge, merely intention, attention, generosity and initiative. And that’s valuable to any organization, no matter how much experience you have. Whether it’s cleaning up around the office, baking brownies for the team, being the first one to welcome the newest hire, studying every document on the internal drive, or taking notes during each meeting, that’s a contribution. When you raise your hand for things and hire yourself, you elevate your standing in the organization.
Why more people don’t do this kind of thing is baffling to me, but then again, it’s not my job to be the world’s career coach, so it doesn’t really keep me up at night. I have always tried to focus on doing the things that nobody can do but me, and doing the things that anybody can do, but won’t, and rarely been disappointed with the results.
In most workplaces, as the old parable goes, everybody blames somebody when nobody does what anybody could have done. You can break that cycle. Simply by showing up, saying yes, not complaining, doing what needs to be done, and not demanding recognition or applause for your efforts, your value increases. What will it take for you to operate at your highest point of contribution?
Elevate your standing in the organization
Create value from day one at in your new role
Operate at your highest point of contribution on a new team
Position yourself as a mature, collaborative professional who can be trusted