How to Create a Winning Edge at Work
By Sandy Schroeder
People work extra hours, take classes and show up early to get ahead at work, but there may be something that you can do that’s even more important. You can try for a bigger overview and more thoughtful look at your job and your company. Often we get so involved in our area that we miss the big picture. If we really saw that big picture clearly we might be able to sharpen our job approach, too.
Here are some different angles to consider.
Pretend you are the boss - Take a long look at your company and how it operates. What’s working, what is not? How would you boost performance and make the company more competitive?
Pretend you are a customer - Describe what you see on a typical day. Are the offices organized and clean? Are employees cheerful and friendly? What could be done to make a better impression on customers?
Picture what is going to happen next - Consider what may happen with your business in the next five years. Will your business be ready for changes? What should happen right now?
Talk to people in your field - Reach out to workers in other similar businesses to see how your company compares. Think about how your company lines up, good or bad.
Do some blue sky dreaming about your job - If you could, how would you restructure your job to make it more productive? What are the time-wasters that should be eliminated? What part of your job works well and should be expanded?
Start a diary with daily notes - Jot down things to do at work that need more attention, currently take too much time, or just do not fit. Each week review your notes and consider how you can use the information to improve your work.
Talk about the job - When you have a chance, talk about the work with co-workers and your boss. Conversation over coffee or a beer after work can sometimes produce real breakthroughs that might not have come up at work.
As you consider these different angles, you may come up with more ideas. Keep notes and use them to brainstorm a little. You may come up with new ways to improve your job, or new topics to discuss with your co-workers and boss. That winning edge may be just sitting there, waiting to be discovered.
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