I have been in my current position for only a month and a half now, and I can say that I have never had a manager who has pushed me harder than the one that I have now.
To be fair, I have only had a few other managers in the past.
But still, after just one month of working in my new position, my manager called me into a meeting to have a talk with him. When he did this, my palms got sweaty, fear started to consume my mind, and I became scared.
I walked into the room and sat down across from him. He looked at me and asked me two simple questions: How important is it for you to stand out on this team? How important is it for you to grow in your career here?
I looked, collected my thoughts for a few moments, and told him that it was incredibly important for me to stand out. Not in the sense that I want to be better than my teammates, but in the sense that I want to come into the office each and every day and be a better employee than I was the day before.
As I was sitting there – as the newest member of his team – he looked at me and told me that the fastest way to advance myself is to go above and beyond. Those who are constantly willing to push themselves, to challenge themselves, and to do more than what is expected of them are the ones who will grow the most.
It seems pretty logical, doesn’t it?
But have you ever actually taken a moment to think about what that looks like in your profession? What does it mean to you to constantly be willing to push yourself, to challenge yourself, and to go above and beyond?
So often (and this is myself included) we expect things to be given to us. We think that just because we have been employed longer than somebody else that we deserve a raise more than they do. We think that just because we go into work every single day without complaining that we should be rewarded. Worst of all, we think we are the bee’s knees for going into work on a daily basis and accomplishing what’s already expected of us.
We all know that one person in the office who is constantly going: Hello! I’m over here doing what’s expected of me. Where’s my raise?
Who knows, maybe that person is you?
See what’s wrong with that picture though? You are already doing what is expected of you. Why should you deserve a raise or a promotion or any other type of acknowledgment for already doing what you are getting paid to do?
Your job is already paying you to meet the standards. If you want to make more than what your job and career are paying you, then you need to exceed those standards.
As I was sitting there listening to my manager talk to me growing within the company (by the way, to have that conversation as a new employee is somewhat nerve-racking, but also pretty cool that your manager wants to see you grow so quickly), ideas immediately started to flood my mind with things that I could do to fast-track my success.
What if I did this? What if I did that? Would this be a good idea to elaborate on? How might this idea improve our business?
You get the idea…
From there, I went back to my desk, wrote down some ideas, and immediately got to work. What I realized, though, was that I wasn’t just working for the sake of working. I was more motivated than ever. I was working with an intention – the intention of being a better employee than I was the day before and to exceed the standards laid out in front of me.
Standards are society’s way of trying to limit you. If you want bigger and better than what you have, push those standards. Get up each and every single day, go into work with a smile on your face, do more work than you did yesterday, and constantly push yourself to achieve new heights.
My future is in my control. Your future is in your control. What you and I want is probably already out there. Now it’s just up to us to go out there and to achieve it. So with everything that you have, do something today that you didn’t do yesterday, so that tomorrow, you can do what you couldn’t do today.
Take control of your life, work harder with every day that passes, and that’s how you will grow in your career.