February 10, 2012

whatever your job title, own it!

Many of us do our jobs because we need the cash... or because we're expected to... or because we want something to keep us busy between 9-5. The problem with these reasons is that any manager with a relative amount of people skills can spot them from a mile. They know if you're lazy or just another clock-watcher despite your efforts to look interested in your job. Have you ever thought of the reason you really do your job?

The truth is - if you do your job, JUST your job, people will say that about you: "He always did what was expected of him"... But that just doesn't cut it for me. I would like to apply myself (skills, education, personality & ideas) to my job and really show my employer that they should be happy they hired me! Here are a few ways you can adjust your attitude in a similar way:

  • PROACTIVE vs REACTIVE: Instead of waiting for orders everyday, see where you have something unique to add and suggest it. Anticipate what you may need to do later and do it now, employers can't get enough of employees who take ownership and take initiative.
  • TIK-TOK - Have a look at how you're spending your time at work. If you have some free time between tasks, why not do things in advance even if they aren't due yet. Or read up on literature specific to your job or organisation?
  • IT MUST BE LOVE - Identify things about your job that you really love so that your work becomes an extension of who you are as a person. Someone said to me the other day : "Kobie, you're a real career junkie!" and it's the truth - I love becoming better at my job and being able to help others succeed! There are parts of my job I don't enjoy as much, but I try to really sink my teeth into the parts I like and it works.

I can remember very clearly the day I decided to take ownership of my job and to do more than what is expected of me, and I have enjoyed every single day since. I wanted my work to really say something about my character, and I would definitely want to be missed when I leave.

Any boss will love an employee who really applies himself to the job and takes initiative. Have a look at these posts on how every employer wants a problem solver with a can-do attitude and taking ownership of your job.


  1. Wow!!! I have done this in every position that I have ever had, no matter what the job was, for the simple reason, as you have stated love of the job. Contrary to my actions it always back fired on me and I would end up getting terrible reviews because I take initiative (so it said with out permission), go above and beyond my responsibilities (not my job) and several other strange reactions. It seems as though some of the employers that I have had do not sare the idea of proactive vs. reactive....throughly stumpped by it all.

  2. It must be really frustrating if your employer limits you in terms of taking initiative, I can only imagine. Well, even though they limit WHAT you may do in addition to your job description, they cannot limit HOW you do what is expected of you. I would try doing my job as AWESOME as possible, even though in the long run I would prefer a position where I have some freedom to improvise. Maybe even work for myself at some stage...?

  3. Great post Kobie! Being proactive, organized, and loving what I'm doing helped me be better on my job. I worked hard to learn new skills and become highly desirable.


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