[CEO Friday] Step Up and Help Your Bosses

David Barrett —  October 10, 2014 — Leave a comment

You just started your new job and you want to make a good impression.  You’ve been working at the same job for years and want more responsibility.  In either case, how do you step up your game and make a difference?  What can you do to get yourself noticed? 

Set a Goal

Not a career goal, a life goal.  A goal so big you likely can’t ever fully realize it even with a lifetime of effort, but something you genuinely want to devote your life to trying.  Figure out how to make your current role into a powerful stepping stone on the long and often murky path to however you personally define success.

The bigger your goal and the more you can align your position to achieve it, the more naturally motivated you will be to work hard, resist distraction, and keep finding ways to move forward even when everyone else would have given up.  This will all have an immediately noticeable impact on your job performance even if you keep it secret.  But, if your boss is any good, his or her goal is to help you succeed in your life’s ambition. So, do them a favor and figure out what that is and then tell them so they can help steer your career in that direction.

Be a Force Multiplier

There is no such thing as a long-term career path that involves you remaining as an individual contributor forever.  The most important skills you will ever develop involve collaborating with those around you to achieve more as a team than the sum of what you can each achieve alone.
  1. Be the person that keeps the meeting focused on the topic at hand.  Write down decisions as they happen, and email them out when done — along with a photo of the whiteboard.
  2. Master the art of being able to argue both sides of the topic to the satisfaction of all involved, demonstrating you are making a real effort to remain objective in your recommendations.
  3. Speak up for the silent majority whenever you see a vocal minority hijacking the discussion or taking it in unproductive directions.  Don’t ask permission or wait to be told, just start doing it.  Your boss will definitely notice.

Be a Carbon Fuel Rod

Keep calm and be awesome

You heard right.

When everybody else is dramatically melting down around you in the heat of the moment, be the one who absorbs and neutralizes the anxiety of your peers, rather than reflecting and magnifying it.  Separate the smoke from the fire and get everybody calmly focused on proactive, realistic solutions.  Remind people forcefully about the many supposed problems that don’t actually exist.  A huge amount of your boss’s time is spent unwinding needless anxiety from unnecessarily high amounts of workplace drama, and your help here will be extremely appreciated.

Employers are looking for the best of the best, and those people tend to exude ambition, collaboration, and focus.  Stepping up and helping your boss is a surefire way to make the case that yes, you are the one they need and can’t live without. At Expensify, we love it when candidates exhibit any, if not all, of these traits because honestly, there is so much to do and we just need to Get Shit Done.
Interested in our GSD mentality? We’re hiring! Drop us a note and get in touch or email jobs@expensify.com.

David Barrett

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Founder of Expensify, destroyer of expense reports, and savior to frustrated employees worldwide.

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