No matter what you do, you are going to be paid better if you take on these five additional tasks in your company. In addition, performing these tasks is akin to getting a work insurance policy, that is: play these five roles and guarantee your status as the most valuable member of your team.
Learn something that you can teach other people. It could be a hard skill like creating WordPress blogs or a soft skill like writing thank you letters. It may or may not be directly connected to your job description, but having something that adds value – and gives you something special that you can teach other people – means you are capable of helping your organization grow in a way no one else can. Plus, if there was ever a most valuable player on a team, it’s the person who is capable of learning and helping others do the same.
Assess what you do well, and find someone who could use guidance and encouragement from you. That might mean you reach outside your company to someone younger, perhaps someone seeking a job like yours. There are lots of interns, new college graduates, and older workers transitioning to new careers who could use a friendly ear, a strong shoulder and a pat on the back. Consider committing 30 minutes a week to mentor. It’s good career karma. It also makes you mature because you learn how to lead by influencing others’ growth, which may be the most important skill in business.
3. Accountability Partner
Set some stretch goals and share them with another person who also wants to manage their career trajectory. Do a mind-map to figure out how many steps there are on your career ladder, and what skills, education, experiences, and people you’ll need to access or acquire. Put dates to the milestones and decide what you’ll use to motivate and reward yourself. Then set up a regular accountability meeting every 2 weeks to keep yourself on track. If there were one single skill that matters more than any other in a volatile economy, it’s the ability to learn to manage and motivate yourself with a little help from someone who cares about your commitments.
Listen with compassion to people who confide in you. Be gentle and kind to someone who is having a tough time. Let a buddy vent while you take the information to the vault. Don’t gossip. Open your heart and see the best in people who are acting a little nuts, stubborn or stuck. Look them in the eye and let them know they matter. Avoid giving advice unless you’re asked. Go out of your way to include someone who is a little lonely or new in town. The greatest managers are people who know that people matter, and have practice making other people feel safe and appreciated.
Put in a good word for other people whenever you can. At any gathering or networking event, think about whom you could connect to someone you meet, for the benefit of both people. Learn to speak positively about the attributes of someone you respect, and how to make introductions that set the tone for a positive match. Take the time to learn about other people – whether it’s someone you meet on a bus or your accountant. Then, tell other people about them. When you learn to advocate for others, you are just one step away from learning how to advocate for yourself.
When your personal brand involves playing these five roles in your business or career, you generate so much positive PR for yourself. You become a team player, a leader, and a positive-thinking, reliable, motivated and motivating employee.
No matter what you “do” to earn your paycheck, you’ll put yourself at the top of the list for promotions, special projects and pay raises. Plus, you’ll really like who you become. And so will we. After all, we all prefer to work with people we like. Like you.
Nance Rosen is the author of Speak Up! & Succeed. She speaks to business audiences around the world and is a resource for press, including print, broadcast and online journalists and bloggers covering social media and careers. Read more at NanceRosenBlog. Twitter name: nancerosen