I’ve had plenty of time watching new people in jobs over time, and it’s always interesting to see how they approach their jobs. Many times, though, I see people who have huge goals, and they would like to achieve those goals yesterday. The problem is that they fail to plan for exactly how much hard work, initiative, and leadership it is going to take to achieve those goals. They come into a job over-entitled. They expect to be handed the choice tasks, and be handed promotions, and many times are completely surprised when that doesn’t happen. It is a fatal mistake many people make.
Please know that when you walk into a new job, especially early in your career, you’re going to be handed the worst, least desirable jobs. How you handle those assignments will depend on where your career will go. As you progress further, you can afford to direct what you want to do a little more than you could at first, but don’t think that you can completely pick and choose. Do keep your manager in the loop on what you’d like to do, then do what you’re given with grace, and style.
If you are hungering for more, then you need to identify problems in the group or organization, and find ways to fix them. Then set about fixing them. If they are small issues, go ahead and fix them. If they’re larger, make sure that your manager is on board with how you’re spending your time. You will show your value to an organization by being able to identify and fix problems. By working hard.
Forget being a prima-donna. No-one wants to work with a prima-donna. You know the kind- the ones who don’t want to be handed the tough assignments, who won’t work overtime, or who think that they are more valuable to the organization than they actually are.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you are overly valuable to an organization, unless you own it and run it. Be humble, and work hard, and you’ll go much farther than someone who presumes too much. Of course, you need to make sure that management and leadership know exactly how hard you’re working, and that they’re looking for it. But, you will avoid that fatal mistake.