We get it into our head that if we do a good job we’ll advance in our careers. I hear it all the time from clients who have been laid off, “I don’t understand! I did a good job!” Or from employees receiving cost of living adjustments but no real raises: “But I do a great job!”
What an amorphous term, “good job.” What does it mean, exactly? You fulfill your responsibilities and duties? While nothing to be sneered at, that’s a reason for your employer to keep you in place when things are booming not to promote, and the first to cut when it begins to bust.
To do a good job is the baseline of performance, not the pinnacle. If that becomes our standard, we quickly become expendable. If your work performance self-analysis is to ask yourself if you’re doing a good job, it’s time to throw out that term and replace it with something more telling. “A good job” requires no measurement; it’s almost an emotion, not substance.
Try instead: “Am I adding value to the company?”
Now that’s a question whose answer can take you to the top. It demands quantification! Simple maintenance of company profitability is a functionary’s job; adding to profitability through increased revenue or cost savings from improved processes, problem-solving, and work optimization is a winner’s job. Further, it results in more questions requiring answers. How have you added value? How much value, exactly? What were the results?
Best of all, positive answers will spur greater growth and self-confidence. If you provide solutions once, you realize you can do it again. Such value-added performance is noticed; and if it isn’t, it can easily be quantified and proven in a performance review. The bigger a company becomes, the more areas an employee can impact. Management needs people to step up without being asked! Take ownership of your slice of the company and be rid of the “good job” mentality. You’re career will thank you.
Career Services International