by Gabi Bourn
Production Manager at Wunderman
Ever since I wrote my last article about the dangers of interns becoming too comfortable in their internships, I’ve felt convicted about being too comfortable myself. Sure, I’m always on time to the office and always try to do my best work, but am I consistently pushing myself to go above and beyond? The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that I’m not the only one struggling with this. We all must push past our comfortable activities to push ourselves to accomplish more.
Throughout my career, I’ve asked myself two questions taught to me by a college professor:
1. What can I do to make my boss/team look good?
2. What can I do to make my boss/team’s lives easier?
I regularly credit these two questions with helping me get to my current position, but I think I may have gotten too busy and too comfortable to ask myself these questions on an ongoing, consistent basis. In a “get ‘er done” world, it can be difficult to find time to step back and reflect about these questions. Instead of focusing so much on the operational tasks, we also need to think about the big-picture visions of our careers, teams, and companies.
Here is a three-step idea for ways to get out of the rut of familiarity and comfort to push yourself to take more initiative.
Purposefully Set Aside Time:
I love the two questions I mentioned earlier, but I tend to get so caught up in my meetings and to-do lists to actually think about these questions. I have forgotten to prioritize them. I need to purposefully schedule the time to consider these questions. I need to add them to my to-do list or set up a reoccurring meeting invite. Find what works for you, but remember to take action to purposefully consider ways to help your boss and team reach their full potential. In helping them reach their full potential, you may simultaneously find yours.
After you take the time to think of an idea, follow through with it. You will probably encounter obstacles along the way, but remember to push yourself to actually accomplish your plan. Remember to move beyond your typical and familiar job responsibilities. Accomplishing something new, challenging, and may be unfamiliar can be uncomfortable, but it can be very rewarding as well.
Promote Yourself In an Authentic Way:
Once you have accomplished your goal and have helped your boss or team, they will hopefully notice quickly. In an ideal world, you won’t have to promote yourself, but life is not always like that. You worked hard to accomplish this goal and you may have to spell it out for them. Maybe you do that in a conversation with your boss or through some other means. There are many ways to promote yourself, but it is important to celebrate your successes and thank the people who helped along the way.
Originally published on LinkedIn, republished with permission.