I was listening to an interview about an athlete who was being honored for his basketball achievements. After being asked about what sets him apart the coach replied that the athlete had no vertical jump, he wasn’t particularly fast and he couldn’t move well laterally.
It was making no sense to me why this person should receive the honor being bestowed.
Then the coach made sense.
What the athlete did have was:
1) A competing spirit – he always came with his A-game.
2) He was consistent, the team could always count on him for a certain amount of points and rebounds.
3) The attitude of achievement – he was positive and didn’t dwell on past mistakes. He learned and moved on.
Getting accolades for your career is in your grasp
I have been the top sales rep at every company I worked at before starting my own firm.
Not because I am the best salesperson. Not because I have the best territory or the best support team.
I believe I was at the top because of my attitude and effort.
You can be top in your field too by just doing a few things consistently
1. End the day completed
Before the end of every day and every week do what you need to do to feel complete. We all know that some things feel like they are never done. When you are on a job search there always feels like there is one more LinkedIn message you could send so when do you stop? That is not what I am getting at when I say completed. Completed in the sense that there are no loose ends. You may have more things to do on a project but you are at a logical stopping point and can add a post-it with a reminder of what’s next and call it completed…for today. There is a real sense of calm at the end of my day when I look at my stacks of work and can say I feel complete. I know that I have done all that is necessary for me and my team. I can now go and watch The Voice without guilt or worry!
As a recruiter of technologists, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard some form of this statement “the person before me did not believe in documenting their work and now I have a real mess on my hands”.
Documenting things is a way to not only help the person who may follow you in the role get up to speed faster but you will be earning a lot of goodwill vibes along the way.
Documenting your work can also help you 2 years from now when you’re asked to present at a meeting at the last minute. Your success is much higher and your stress is much lower because you just have to read through your notes from 2 years ago and it will all come back to you.
3. Keep your smile on
My math teacher had a sign on his chalkboard that said: “It takes 43 muscles to frown but only 17 to smile.” Why make things hard on yourself? Just smile! Check out the cool Ted Talk below about smiling as a superpower. It made me feel better about the number of puppy and baby videos my daughter consumes. She is constantly smiling when she watches them. Smiling is easy and the research shows you are healthier, better looking to others and appear more competent. So, wear your smile at your next meeting.