8 Unexpected Perks Of Fully Applying Yourself At Work05/28/2015 12:00AM
By Glenn Llopis
It amazes me how many employees don’t fully apply themselves in their work. I am not suggesting that employees don’t care; they just aren’t mindful enough nor have they been taught how to best apply their strengths, natural skills and characteristics. Many times this results from not having been properly trained, not being made aware of their unique aptitudes, or because their leader or organization doesn’t know how to best utilize them. As such, there are many employees that spend their entire careers in search of the right workplace environment, the exemplary supervisor, or that one defining moment that enables them to discover their full potential.
There is no question that when employees decide to fully apply themselves, their workplace productivity, results and overall performance increase. However, there are many other things that begin to take shape. Not only does an employee’s confidence, competitiveness and engagement increase, but they begin to understand the depth and breadth of their role and responsibilities; more than that, they discover where they best fit in. It’s as if suddenly, things begin to come into focus and they stop paying attention to the colleagues that used to intimidate them and hold them back – the leeches and the loafers. Fears of the past are now tackled head-on.
Don’t waste time in your career by failing to contribute at your highest levels. Here are eight unexpected things that happen when you begin to fully apply yourself at work:
1. Discover New Skills
When you fully apply yourself at work you begin to realize that you can do more than you ever thought possible. You discover skills that you may have never used before or even recognized. You never know what you are capable of until you start doing it. This is why you must always have a strategy for change. You must trust yourself enough to take the calculated risks that you’ve been hesitant to take in the past. Stop focusing on being what others want you to be; when you have faith in yourself and listen to your gut, there’s no telling what skills you are capable of unleashing .
When you keep moving forward – regardless of the outcomes — you begin to discover more about yourself and your aptitudes; this is how you make work enjoyable again and free yourself from the burden of growing complacent.
2. See Opportunities More Clearly
When you put everything you’ve got into your work, you begin to see opportunities previously unseen by creating an elevated awareness of your surroundings. As you see and understand the dynamics of the workplace more clearly, the cloud that has been cast over you will no longer hold you back, pull you down or distract your thinking. When it’s no longer there, you can begin to develop greater attention to detail and strategic focus.
3. Learn to Navigate the Workplace
I’m often asked how to anticipate workplace dynamics. My usual response is that you must be active enough in your work to know the players, personalities and politics in order to understand the real expectations for the corporate environment you serve. In order words, if you are not actively participating in the game, you’ll never understand how to play the game.
You must stop hesitating and start activating .
Practice makes perfect and when you fully apply yourself to your work, you begin to connect the dots and learn how to navigate the workplace to get things done. Over time, your entrepreneurial attitude takes root and your influence begins to grow.
4. Resources Become Abundant
The more you do, the more you learn. The more risks you take, the more the fear of uncertainty begins to wane. When you see things more clearly, you begin to understand what resources are required for you to do your job more effectively and contribute more abundantly.
When employees don’t know how to manage resources – their relationships, tools, intelligence, teams, etc. – it’s difficult to get the job done. When you fully apply yourself, you begin to realize that your success and your ability to sustain the momentum that you create depends on your ability to find the right resources and manage them well. Recognizing that resource management is a critical success factor, you become more mindful of identifying the right resources, perhaps even collecting a playbook of the resources required to fulfill your designated responsibilities and produce the desired outcomes.
5. Network Grows; Relevancy Rises
As your performance improves, relationships elevate. You unexpectedly begin to attract the interest of more colleagues (especially those that never gravitated towards you before). You begin to matter more to the organization that you serve, people want to become associated with you and your relevancy rises.
As you become more important to your team and your organization, you begin to realize the importance of applying yourself even more as responsibilities and expectations increase and you rise to the occasion.
6. Value Yourself
As you fully apply yourself at work, your ability to influence growth and innovation heightens. If you remain consistent, you begin to see more opportunities and the impact you are creating; over time your confidence grows and you truly begin to value yourself more than ever before. You begin to notice your ability to influence outcomes both directly (as you lead an assignment) and indirectly (as part of a team). The positive attitude that you bring to work becomes infectious and inspires those around you.
When you begin to value yourself, you start to trust yourself more – and soon realize the return on investment from utilizing the skill-sets and capabilities that you weren’t using before you learned to fully apply yourself.
7. Learn to Reinvent Yourself
Your new understanding of what happens when you fully apply yourself gives you the insight, wisdom and courage to continually test your ideas and ideals. You’ll never know what it means to discover your full potential until you trust yourself enough to put your true talent to the test.
Sustaining workplace momentum requires the continuous renewal and reinvention of your skill-sets and capabilities. Now that you see the rewards associated with delivering your full talent at work, your eyes are opened to the value of investing in yourself more intently and continually introducing new aptitudes, roles and responsibilities.
8. Build A Reputation
The first seven things have now elevated the expectation of who you are and what you represent as an employee. You must now continue to step-up your game because your colleagues expect more from you as your reputation rises.
What took you time to discover can be lost in a moment’s notice if you don’t continue to deliver upon it consistently. Your responsibility is not only to build upon the momentum you created, but to elevate your reputation by serving as a role model and mentor to others. Your reputation management platform must be viewed as a portfolio of assets that you now have the confidence to fully build upon each day. You must now be more accountable than ever to assure that the value of those assets grows and that you continue to diversify your portfolio as you elevate your reputation not only for yourself – but for the betterment of the organization and the people you serve.
Fully applying yourself at work is reward in itself, but as you can see there are many perks as well. You will discover skills you never knew you had, realize the value of the unique aptitudes you do possess, and learn how and where you best fit in – all while making work fun again.
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