I’m not an Entrepreneur, but I believe in creativity, give value and make a difference, even when you are working for someone else.
I work more than three years in my current job and in the last two years I have tried different things to improve my performance, but the following tips have been effective:
1- Ask for help/advice to your colleagues
I remember during my first performance evaluation, one of the remarks was “the time it takes you to find a solution“. My response? “Because I try to solve it and learn by myself “. “Why don’t you ask?“, my Manager said.
Indeed! was it because of my stupid ego? The fear of rejection? Or just being shy? I don’t know. So I started to ask for help to the right people.
– Networking. You improve your relationship with your colleagues. And who knows? You can find a new friend 🙂
– Respect. When you ask for advice, you show respect to other’s expertise and people tend to respond positively to it.
– Learning. You learn how others do. And if you want to go further, you can improve the way they do.
– Team spirit. You encourage the info sharing in the team. In the future, one of them will also come to you asking for help or advice.
2- Do the projects the others don’t want to do
This might be a bit tricky, but I learned it by chance.
Along these years, I have received some weird assignments. Maybe I was in the right (or wrong?) moment and the right place. The assignments had something obscure, something that nobody expected, and as result I ended up in a “Research” instead of an “Implementation” project.
But I’ve also done it by own initiative. One year ago, I proposed to my Manager to create a whole set of document templates for one of our products. I should analyse the expected content of the document, depending of the project phase and the target audience. I should create workshop and training presentations, in a way that regardless the customer, the material should be reusable and slightly modified. When I proposed it, I added “What do you think? I’d like to do it. I like to write“. “Really!? Please do! Because few people here like to document!“…. hmmm, interesting… I found a niche 🙂
– Support. Even if you fail more than once in the process, it doesn’t matter. You are the only one involved (and interested). What you will receive is time and support to continue in the mission.
– Creativity. Since you are the one in the mission, you implement your style and put in practice your own ideas.
– Learning. There is no challenge without learning!
Till now, no money from your pocket?… no way! because my third tip is:
3- INVEST in yourself
Let me remind you: your employer is not your father. Even though you should receive the adequate -technical or product related- training from the Company, the rest of education is on you!
Your education doesn’t finish with University… There is more to life. There is more to learn.
Identify the skills you need to perform your job and invest your time and money in them. Books, on-line courses, workshops. Choose yourself. Practice and practice to become “so good they can’t ignore you” (one of my favorite books btw).
– ROI. The Return Of Investment is in the short term. Believe it or not.
– Future. The investment remains on you. You leave? You take it with you.
Two years in practice. Two years improving my performance.
To give value, to create and to share, should be the objectives… Better performance -and salary- are just a consequence 🙂
To your success!