Do you feel stuck or lost at work? This could be because your managers don’t know what you need fulfill your potential. They might not even know you want to grow your career. Before blaming your environment and jumping ship, take stock of your own performance. Are you fulfilling the requirements of your job? Are you meeting your goals or assisting your department to meet company goals? Can you pinpoint the exact value of your contributions? Many companies are still being very frugal with employee expenses and only reward top performers who can articulate their value. To grow your income or advance your career, not only do you need to become a top performer, but you’ll need to be able to articulate your value.
There are three tactics you can use to become a top performer in your organization.
- Document Your Productivity and Impact
The best way to document your productivity and impact is with a Brag Sheet. A Brag Sheet is a document where you record your goals, activity, victories, failures, challenges and room for growth. Use your brag sheet to document what and how you did. A ‘master’ brag sheet can be customized to capitalize on various opportunities. Your brag sheet also prevents others from claiming your work.
You can then use this document to accurately and preciecely describe what you do to get what result. Ideally you’ll be able to use this document to demonstrate your victories and above-average performance deserving of higher pay. However an even greater value this document could bring is to predict your performance related shortcomings before management criticizes you. You’ll be able to use this foreknowledge to address your challenges and correct your course. If you continue to have difficulty, you’ll be able to speak with management and either get advice, more time, or ‘brownie points’ for being forthright and attentive.
- Fulfill your job description
What does every employer want in an employee? Someone who can do the task assigned without handholding or micromanagement. Of course some jobs require time and training to do well, but before you can exceed expectations, you need to meet the requirements of your designated position.
- Exceed or expand your job description
Companies invest in employees who bring value to their positions. In other words, companies strive to keep employees who create a better work environment for everyone, go above and beyond their job description to meet company goals, finish projects, and exceed their personal best. In the recent economic down turn, when raises were frozen across the board, top-preforming employees were still successfully negotiating raises.
How can you become a top preforming employee? The simplest way to begin is to speak up at meetings and seize opportunities to demonstrate your workplace skills. Is there a new project in the pipeline? Volunteer to lead it. Is there a growing company your department has always wanted as a client? Attract that company.
This method is simple, not easy. Jumping in front of challenges is a good way to start projects, but challenging projects require above average dedication, energy and creativity to complete them.
Whether an average performer hopping to grow or a top performer hopping to grow further, your energy and health are your most important assets. Be sure to make time for sleep, socializing (or hobbies) and eat a balanced diet.