Sure, you’re doing stuff at work each day. Probably lots of stuff. Maybe even lots of really important stuff…but my challenge to you is this.
It’s not enough.
Before you think I’ve gone a bit crazy, get angry and unsubscribe, let me explain.
If you truly want to take control of your career and step up to the next level, you need to pause and do a quick reality check.
Ask yourself these questions and be totally honest with yourself. Are you doing enough Every. Damn. Day…
- to survive without getting fired?
- to have the satisfying feeling of getting stuff ticked off your to-do list?
- to state an opinion and get things off your chest?
- to have a positive impact on your colleagues?
- to deliberately step out of your comfort zone?
- to fight for the good of the customer?
- to embrace difficult conversations?
- to make a lasting change at your place of work?
If you said yes to all of the above, I salute you and apologise, because you are definitely doing enough already.
If you’re like me then you probably started going down this list with a couple of definite “yes’s”, then a couple of “mostly’s”, but then it slowed down to “sometimes” and even some “no’s” towards the end.
I’ve recently (like 5 mins ago over my morning coffee and just having finished reading “The five dysfunctions of a team“) came to the horrible realisation that based on where I want to be, and how I go about my day to day work, I’m not doing enough. In fact, I’m not even close.
I stick to the things I’m good at. I hang around with the people who share the same opinion as me. I put off (or avoid altogether) conversations that make me feel uncomfortable (well – I play them out in my head – does that count?!).
I do challenge my peers and seniors sometimes, but I’m also quick to play it down and not push the point home. And even if they agree I certainly don’t hold them accountable as much as I could / should.
Bottom line – I’m guilty of slacking and not doing enough from day to day to step up. I sometimes do, but the consistency isn’t there. Yet. I like the idea of it, but I’ve not committed to actually doing enough about it. Yet.
Obviously not everyone gives enough of a shit to do what it takes to own their career path and live with the discomfort and energy it takes to progress and grow. That’s fine by the way (as long as it’s a deliberate choice).
But for those of you who want more. Who are ready for more. Who deserve more. You owe it to yourselves to push a little harder. To get comfortable with discomfort. To make sure you express your opinions, especially when it’s different to everyone else’s. It’s not a sign of defiance or being argumentative, it’s a sign that you care enough about it to be willing to debate for what you believe in. It actually doesn’t even matter if you get your own way, what’s important is that you make your voice is heard.
In summary, not doing enough doesn’t mean you need to do more stuff. This isn’t just about avoiding being a passenger. This about making sure you’re doing things each day to challenge yourself and those around you for the greater good. To be vulnerable, but truthful. To be determined and results focussed. To act with courage and make sure that you walk away at the end of the day with the feeling that “today I did enough”.
Now go get em tiger!