We all have a right to be respected at work, right? Well no, actually.
In all areas of life, respect has to be earned. And at work you earn the right to respect, by taking responsibility for doing the work as well as it can possibly be done. As well as it can be done – not ‘to the best of your ability’. That’s important. Let me explain what I mean.
We all have the ability to be world class at something, whether that’s doing the accounts or getting orders out on time, or running the company. If you can’t be world-class at the job you are doing, then you just haven’t found your perfect job yet. And you have a responsibility to the world, and to yourself, to go find it. Spending nearly a half of your waking hours doing a job that you know could be done better is the best way I can think of to feel pretty bad about yourself.
Who actively chooses to be mediocre, or worse? But that’s what you are doing when you choose to do less than great work!
Don’t have the skills? Identify what you need to learn, and go get them! As I approached 40, I realised I wasn’t being the best Key Account Manager I had the potential to be. So I researched what I needed to learn, and enrolled on an MBA course.
Employer won’t train you? Find one who will, or fund your development yourself! My employer when I did my MBA was too small to have that kind of a training budget, so I paid for it myself, and studied by distance learning while holding down a demanding job.
Boss won’t let you use your genius? Then move jobs, find an employer who truly values what you do so well! I changed jobs three times during my MBA studies. It wasn’t easy, but it was very fulfilling – and as I moved jobs to fully utilise my new abilities, my salary increased by over 60% over the course of just a few years.
We all have something that we do better than anybody else on the planet, something that we absolutely love doing and that brings enormous value for others, the people who pay us for it. The right to respect at work follows the responsibility to work with what I call Joyful Genius.
Your mission – and if you want respect for your work, you cannot choose not to take it – is to find your unique Joyful Genius and put it to work.