The desire to be a winner is important, but not worth a plug nickel unless you have the will to make it happen. It takes faith, hope and inspiration. Just wishing will not make it so. Five guideposts to becoming a development star:
1. Stay in Front of the Wave
Try to anticipate every issue that may erupt during your work—and try to anticipate a solution. Make lists, prioritize plans, embrace team discussions. In the first half of the year, try to come as close to meeting your goals as possible. You can use the rest of the year to finalize your work, to plan for the coming year, and to break the goals that you set for the past year. It surely reduces your work stress.
2. Like Nike, Just Do it!
Your work is intensely personal. Assuming you are on track with your efforts, begin to go beyond your job description to take on other responsibilities that may be of interest to you and will help bring value to the organization. Maybe it’s a little risky—but just a little and what’s life without a risk here and there? Make sure the ideas are good ones and stick with them even if the waters get murky…you want to ensure they are successful.
3. Be Bullish on Energy: Harness the Power of a Network
Throughout the organization and the community there are people who you admire, there are people who you should get to know, there are people with whom you may work periodically and those with whom you may just come to know by living life. Eventually you call these people friends. These are people who you can help and eventually you may rely on them to be able to help you. These people are your personal team—give them as much credit as possible and be willing always to be there for them. Over time, they are your partners, your network.
4. “Know Thyself”
Socrates taught that the unexamined life is not worth living. We all have round and flat sides—know yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. Play to your strengths and hopefully you will have selected partners who can round out the flat sides that you have. Leverage yourself and your talent for all that you do. Put your enthusiasm and your curiosity into your work.
5. Ellen Degeneres Says: Do What Scares You
She means that if you begin to feel too comfortable, perhaps not stimulated enough, perhaps not fully utilized in your situation, try something new. Work with your department to craft a new position or expand the one you have. Move to a new situation that might test your mettle a little more intensely, build a larger team, expand your contacts…whatever it takes. We work all of our lives, work needs to be the best that it can be for us, for our families and our organization.
We are not brought to this life to just be comfortable—we came to make a difference for others.
As a development professional, what strategies have you used to distinguish yourself on the job?