I will start this article with a small personal story.
During 2016, the company growth forced a new performance recognition program to be instated. The monthly newsletter mentions were falling short and a need for new motivation and career improvement efforts were the natural answer to this.
So, since June 2016, the Monthly Hero Program was inaugurated, some sort of MVP for all of our projects. Later, the top performers lineup and then the Annual Award Program.
Then, these trophies started showing up. I was amazed, motivated and highly committed to keep up the line.
And I’m still are. More because I love what I do, than because of the actual prizes.
People turned towards me asking how can I stay motivated all the time. How can I stay focused. How can I work with such passion.
My answer is always the same: I love my job. I take risks. I don’t care if I get fired because I did “too good” or “too much”. For me, is all about making things better each day, even if that blurs the lines of the job roles. After all, I’m working with several teams to reach a common goal.
How to do it!?
So, you want to be on the far right side of the Gauss Bell, where the top performers are. I want you to be there too.
Here’s how to get there.
First, ask yourself the following questions:
- Would you do what you do know at work, just for the sake of knowledge, practice or fun?
- Let’s say you don’t need money at all. Would you still keep the same career path you have today? (Maybe even as a cofounder of a new company)
- Do you wake up with the mood to get to work to see what challenges await?
If you answered yes to all of the previous questions, you’re already on the path to that “Top Performer” side… If you’re not there already.
If you answered no to any of the previous questions, then you have to find what is missing or even think about changing your career path or your job.
If you don’t feel motivated, energized and appreciated on your current job position, give it try and look for something else. Look here and there and anywhere until you find that job offer that you feel that has your name written on it.
That’s the best first step.
Of course I know you have bills to pay. I’m not telling you that you should quit right away. I’m telling you: open your eyes.
The comfort zone is always blurring the outside. it doesn’t want you to explore, to step outside and find new horizons, challenges and motivators. You feel relaxed, but eventually you start to get bored.
If you’re not having home when you’re working at least 50% of the time, you’re on the wrong place and you need to find another job. Time to shake off the dust and place yourself on the market. It’s time to find your place.
Give your best
No matter what you do. It matters that you do it the best you can. Read, study, research. Look always for better ways to do whatever you need to do. Look for best practices. Look for processes that have room for improvement and go for it.
Tell your peers and your lead/supervisor about your findings (written email, as explicit as possible) and let the inertia do its thing. Always show off your ideas. Speak during the meetings. Demonstrate that you’re an expert.
Do not limit your work to “what you’re asked to do”. Try to find a way to improve how things are done, and those actions will be louder than any words.
Go above and beyond, just for the sake of it. Because you know you can do it. Because you know it can be improved. Because yes!
Nobody knows you as you do. You can try to lie to yourself but it won’t last forever. So start being honest with you and look for that place where you have to be. That will get you half the way towards being a top performer wherever you are.
Spread the word
If you do something good. Let people know. Share it so others can learn and use it as well. That will give you the credit automatically.
Think. Research. Plan. Execute. Improve. Share.
Those are your steps to be recognized as a Rockstar wherever you are.
Improving stuff, automating and sharing your knowledge won’t get you fired. Don’t be greedy, close and unreachable. If you are, how do you expect others to recognize how good you are?
Be open, friendly and engage in sharing your experience and knowledge. That will get you far!