Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Volume 4 Issue 17: Intelligent Investing

How To Be A Remarkable Employee?

For many of us that are just transitioning from college to working adult life, we would probably, for the first time, encounter our quarter-life crisis. For quite possibly our whole lives, we were told to study hard, get a good job and you will make a lot of money.

What many of us don't realize is that in the first three years of working, none of what was promised to us is true. You studied your butts off, and you got a good job but where is the money? Some of us even believe that as long as we did the above-mentioned things, we would be entitled to a high-paying job.

Before long, reality will soon smack you in the face. Getting a good job is not an end itself. It does not lead to a high paying job. You will soon realize that if you want to earn a high pay, you would have to work hard for it as well. After a while, you would realize that you are stuck in this rat race:
How many times have you asked yourself that question, or some other similar version of it? Waking up at 7.30 a.m. to go to work and returning past dinnertime every weekday just to keep your family fed. As Monday begins, you look forward to Friday, AGAIN. Some of you even dread Sundays because tomorrow is Monday. Weekends are a whole lot of fun because you get to watch TV, hang out with friends, or do whatever it is that you do. To make things worse, after all that, when you receive your paycheck at the end of the month, you feel only two seconds of joy as it dawns upon you that you have to pay your rent, your bills (electricity, telephone, internet, handphone and god knows what else), your wife (for her to buy groceries and necessities for your family because she quit her job to take care of your children; you refused to hire a maid because you want the best environment for your children) and the list goes on. By the time you subtract all these expenses, you are afraid to even look at the balance that remains. Maybe that’s why you don’t keep account of your expenditure. Does the above sound like you? Granted, most of my readers have not had a family yet but I hope the story is something you can relate to.
Subsequently, you begin to think that your job is not for you, simply because you do not find any job satisfaction in it. We often complain about our jobs and how we are not being appreciated for doing something that was not within our job scope in the first place. You look for an occupation change in search of a higher pay, better benefits and less working hours. Soon after, you will realize that the cycle has continued. For the few of you who are lucky enough to have found an occupation you love, you excel at it. But more often than not, we are not so lucky.  We slog through the grind, telling ourselves "We do what we have to do, so that we can do what we want to do". We then often ask ourselves, "What happened to the dream that was promised to us if we had studied hard and got a good job?"

How many times will we keep on blaming our surroundings and our jobs before we realize that the only thing we can change is ourselves. By that, I mean our very own attitude and how we perceive the things around us. So, we finally arrive at our agenda for the day. Here is an article to help you stand out and in order to become a remarkable employee. I advise that you read through this carefully and take the message to heart in your approach towards your career, and perhaps with a little bit of luck, you may finally find the elusive job satisfaction that you have been hunting for:
Great employees are reliable, dependable, proactive, diligent, great leaders and great followers... they possess a wide range of easily-defined—but hard to find—qualities. 
A few hit the next level. Some employees are remarkable, possessing qualities that may not appear on performance appraisals but nonetheless make a major impact on performance. 
Here are eight qualities of remarkable employees: 
1. They ignore job descriptions. The smaller the company, the more important it is that employees can think on their feet, adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and do whatever it takes, regardless of role or position, to get things done. 
When a key customer's project is in jeopardy, remarkable employees know without being told there's a problem and jump in without being asked—even if it's not their job. 
2. They’re eccentric... The best employees are often a little different: quirky, sometimes irreverent, even delighted to be unusual. They seem slightly odd, but in a really good way. Unusual personalities shake things up, make work more fun, and transform a plain-vanilla group into a team with flair and flavor. 
People who aren't afraid to be different naturally stretch boundaries and challenge the status quo, and they often come up with the best ideas. 
3. But they know when to dial it back. An unusual personality is a lot of fun... until it isn't. When a major challenge pops up or a situation gets stressful, the best employees stop expressing their individuality and fit seamlessly into the team. 
Remarkable employees know when to play and when to be serious; when to be irreverent and when to conform; and when to challenge and when to back off. It’s a tough balance to strike, but a rare few can walk that fine line with ease. 
4. They publicly praise... Praise from a boss feels good. Praise from a peer feels awesome, especially when you look up to that person. 
Remarkable employees recognize the contributions of others, especially in group settings where the impact of their words is even greater. 
5. And they privately complain. We all want employees to bring issues forward, but some problems are better handled in private. Great employees often get more latitude to bring up controversial subjects in a group setting because their performance allows greater freedom. 
Remarkable employees come to you before or after a meeting to discuss a sensitive issue, knowing that bringing it up in a group setting could set off a firestorm. 
6. They speak when others won’t. Some employees are hesitant to speak up in meetings. Some are even hesitant to speak up privately. 
An employee once asked me a question about potential layoffs. After the meeting I said to him, “Why did you ask about that? You already know what's going on.” He said, “I do, but a lot of other people don't, and they're afraid to ask. I thought it would help if they heard the answer from you.” 
Remarkable employees have an innate feel for the issues and concerns of those around them, and step up to ask questions or raise important issues when others hesitate. 
7. They like to prove others wrong. Self-motivation often springs from a desire to show that doubters are wrong. The kid without a college degree or the woman who was told she didn't have leadership potential often possess a burning desire to prove other people wrong. 
Education, intelligence, talent, and skill are important, but drive is critical. Remarkable employees are driven by something deeper and more personal than just the desire to do a good job. 
8. They’re always fiddling. Some people are rarely satisfied (I mean that in a good way) and are constantly tinkering with something: Reworking a timeline, adjusting a process, tweaking a workflow. 
Great employees follow processes. Remarkable employees find ways to make those processes even better, not only because they are expected to… but because they just can't help it.