“The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed. Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can. The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it’s a job. Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people. I call the process of doing your art ‘the work.’ It’s possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that’s how you become a linchpin. The job is not the work.” ― Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

If you have a strong desire to achieve your career goals then you have to rise above being average. Employers today are looking beyond having the right skill when hiring; they are also looking for people who are constantly learning new skills and evolving to adapt to the needs of the ever-changing workplace. 

The job market has become highly competitive with thousands of people gunning for the same position with the same skill sets, degrees, and experience. So it’s not enough to show up and work anymore; you have to find ways to stand out. Companies want employees who are self-motivated, innovative, communicative, and loyal. They want value-driving employees.

Here are some tips on how to become an MVP at your workplace.

  1. Document everything: Ensure that you have every correspondence done via email. This will make sure you have an email trail to back you up whenever there is an issue and a co-worker is trying to push the blame to you. Or there is a chance for a promotion and someone is trying to beat you to it.
  1. Take on difficult assignments: The surest way to build your confidence and skill set is to take on difficult assignments at work and work to ensure you get the desired results. Even if you are unable to achieve the results you want at the end of the day, you would still have learnt a thing or two. When embarking on this mission, don’t be afraid to ask for help and guidance from a mentor or trusted professional. 
  1. Don’t be afraid to wear multiple hats: Many organizations have personnel gaps and deficiencies due to the pandemic and the need to lay off staff, therefore, companies are looking for individuals who are willing and able to step up and play different roles within the company. Being able to successfully go beyond the call of duty and add value to the company is sure to get you on the list of MVPs.
  1. Don’t make excuses: If you look hard enough you would always find a reason why you can’t complete a task. Avoid coming up with reasons why you can’t complete a task, unless it’s an emergency. It might slide the first few times but after a while, you won’t be taken seriously, and you would be seen and lazy and incompetent. The best thing to do if you are unable to meet a deadline is to own up to it, ask for an extension, and ensure it doesn’t become a habit.
  1. Do what your boss says first: It’s a good thing to have great ideas that would add value to your company and you might be eager to execute them, but before you go ahead and do that, ensure that you have completed the tasks given to you by your superiors. All those great ideas and plans would be a wasted effort if your boss feels like you are unable to follow instructions or you are simply ignoring their authority. Plus you would be frustrating them and probably the team by delaying your work and their progress.

Following these tips will help you become more visible to your company’s management. As time goes on, you would become the “go-to person” and eventually the company’s most valuable player. This would open doors to better opportunities and promotions.

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