Being an Ace at Work: Advice for the Young Professional

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Gerry had held a number of senior executive positions in different companies, and tried the entrepreneurial path too. He realized that his sweet spot would not be as an entrepreneur but an intrapreneur (an employee, who treats their job like it's their business.) Once he made the connection, his value to the companies he worked for soared.

JFKs "ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country" is an overused but still very relevant quote, and young professionals would be wise to heed this advice. In a selfie-dominated era that has forced mobile devices to add backward facing cameras, it's easier than ever to become self-absorbed. The disconnect between the everybody-gets-a-medal mindset and the reality of the work environment is shocking to a lot of young people (this trend is reversing with the Gen Z.)

 At breakfast with Gerry (yes, I meet with him often,) he outlined his keys to success at work:

  • I know that my strength is building rapport and trust with people
  • I enjoy working in the technology space
  • I find companies that provide technology that interests me, and I work hard to create strong partnerships for them.

Gerry starts by focusing on what he can do for the company before thinking about what the company can do for him. Trust me, he's had his share of companies that did not want to reciprocate his commitment, and he left. Yes, when you know the value you bring, it's easy for you to quit any job. (Read When It's OK to Quit)

If you truly want to be a rockstar at work, ask first what you can do for your company that will make your company better. I often get strange looks when I tell people that the first priority of a corporation isn’t to create jobs. Sorry, but that's not why the entrepreneur gets out of bed. Corporations are created to solve a problem by providing a service or product, and in so doing they make a profit. (make this bold). If you get this, I mean truly get this, and you figure out how you can help your corporation achieve its vision, you'll be a rockstar and the medal/perks will be well deserved.

Learn from Gerry and:

  • Know what your talents are
  • Know what you like working on or with (could also be who you like to work with)
  • How you can use these to help your company achieve its vision.

Work this way, and you'll never struggle for work or recognition.

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