Work Smarter, Not Harder

A few weeks ago, I had to go to a training seminar for work. Of course, being the nerd I am, I brought a notebook with me and took down notes. Then because life gets busy, while I was cleaning off my desk I found my notes from that meeting. The seminar had all valid points and they all seemed so simple. So why wasn’t I doing them daily? Most of the time, I am just so thankful to have a full time job that I don’t take the time to think where I can grow from here. The meeting focused on ways to get more training and how to improve at your current position. But how does one do that?

During my annual review, I made it clear about what I found challenging at my job and what I loved about my job. This way, my boss knew what obstacles I faced while completing a task and by showing him what I loved, I made sure that I could continue doing that role. There are some work tasks that people do not enjoy but I love them, so I always like to point out to coworkers that they can have me do it for them. This way, I have been able to work with people I wouldn’t normally making it the perfect time to network.

Don’t wait for permission if you find something that you could do yourself. After a few months at my job, I noticed that meetings were not properly reviewed so things were not set up properly. With just a few extra emails a day, I was able to confirm meetings, retrain people and most importantly, make myself valuable. While I identified certain parts of my job that could be improved or added to, I was able to become a resource on how to do the job better. I felt more dedicated and excited to do my job too which was a nice bonus. If you think of a better, more efficient way to do your job, don’t ask for permission. See if it works and show the success to your team or boss.

Instead of being afraid to ask for time off, a raise or promotion, just go ahead and ask. It is easier to ask for things if you come prepared with a list of accomplishments, your goals and maybe a list of kudos from other people at work. Have that follow up question, “why” answered before the person responsible for those answers has to ask. If you still need some support to ask for things, become friends with the human resources department and ask what they would recommend.

Stop comparing where you are on your journey to where other people are in theirs. I have friends who are rising to the top of where they work, who make way more money than I do and look perfect working that 9-5. There are days I wish I was doing something else, making more or on vacation. But I need to stop comparing myself and appreciate where I am in life now. Keep the negative away and find ways to be inspired to work harder and appreciate everything you have.


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