Let me tell you a secret: When I meet you I am sizing you up. I want to know if you are someone who stays in one place or if you are someone who is driven to improve yourself. You see, I’m a manager and leader and as such I am always looking for great people to join my team personally or professionally at Expedia. If you are the kind of employee who is staying in one place, I’m not really that interested. We might work together once or twice but I’m not going to seek you out. Now, if you are someone who is driven to improve yourself and your contribution month over month and year over year, then I am definitely interested in having you on my team!
You see, there are two types of people in this world, those that are growing and improving and those that are not.
People who are growing are stretching themselves regularly get to the next level. They are not afraid to fail because if provides valuable experience. They are not afraid to take some risks and be innovative. They are not afraid to express their opinion and to pour in to those around them. You might work in technology or healthcare or manufacturing or construction or countless other types of businesses… The business doesn’t really matter. No matter what field you work in your value is determined by the contribution you provide as an employee to your employer.
The more you deliver in a positive way, the better. Now you might be feeling really good right now because you’re a top performer on a great team, but let me warn you, being at the top isn’t enough. No matter what position you are in, no matter how long you have been doing it, you have the opportunity to improve. You can improve your work ethic, you can improve your technical ability, you can improve the speed at which you are able to execute, you can improve your efficiency, you can improve your customer service. No matter what, you can improve.
You might be wondering why this matters. Well, I’ll give you two reasons:
- People who are investing in themselves month over month and year over year are the people who get raises, promotions, and recognition
- People who don’t invest in themselves get fired or laid off and struggle to find the next thing
Have you ever wondered why some people can lose their job and get hired again in like 5 minutes? It’s because they were constantly working on improving. Have you ever wondered why some people can change jobs and land an amazing step up each time while others just move horizontally or are stuck? It’s because they were constantly working to provide a greater contribution as an employee.
Your boss can see it!
An interviewer can see it!
Your spouse can see it!
Your friends can see it!
Now, let me raise the stakes on you even more. If you’re standing still then you are at a huge risk because there are others out there that are grinding week after week to improve. If times get tight at work or if you start failing to meet the bar for the team, you will quickly be jobless because other people are beating you.
Take a minute. Pause your day. And ask yourself if you are really working to improve your contribution to your employer or if you are skating by. If you’re not working to improve I challenge you to find one thing that you can do this week, just one thing, to start moving in the right direction and get it done. Then, at the beginning of next week pick two things you can do to improve, and so on.
In no time you’ll be on the list of people who are highly valued because they are growing their contribution. You’re job will be more stable. Your boss and peers will recognize it. And you will know that even if you’re not at the top, you can go get it.