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Take a walk down any busy High Street. Coffee cups litter the pavement, crisp packets flutter in the wind. We see it, some might even sigh, but most just keep walking. “It’s not my job to clean it up,” the unspoken thought. This very attitude, however harmless it seems, can hold us back in unexpected ways. At work, the “it’s not my job” mentality can limit your potential and hinder your career growth.

Running a leaner, meaner business is a top priority for many. Cutting costs often comes to mind, but it doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your workforce. Business owners know that talented staff are a key ingredient for success. After all, who gets the job done? Great people!

The key is to demonstrate your value as a reliable and effective employee. Don’t worry about being a superhero or a tireless machine – focus on consistency and dependability. Just like a clean and tidy street reflects well on the community, your proactive approach and willingness to go the extra mile creates a more positive and productive work environment.

Here are three bad habits, along with some simple changes, that can help you land a permanent job or help nudge you up the ladder.

  1. “It’s just a job.” Every role, no matter how seemingly small, contributes to the company’s success. After all, if it wasn’t important, they wouldn’t pay someone to do it. The key is to understand your role’s bigger picture. Ask yourself: “What happens next with what I produce?” “Why is this step crucial?” By seeing how your work fits into the overall process, you’ll gain a sense of purpose and ownership. Look for ways to improve your workflow or suggest innovative solutions. Taking an interest in your job not only shows initiative, but it might surprise you – your role could be more interesting than you initially thought!
  2. “I know what to do, that’s all I need to know.” Consider this: we dedicate a significant portion of our lives to our jobs. It’s a strange disconnect when we compare this commitment to our hobbies. Imagine a die-hard sports fan saying, “It’s just a team” and leaving it at that. True fans delve deeper – they learn about the team’s history, rivals, and news. They actively engage with the sport they love. Try applying this same enthusiasm to your job. Take an interest in your company. The more you understand and connect with your employer’s goals, the more invested you’ll become.
  3. “It’s not my job to do that!” A seemingly harmless mentality on the surface which can be a roadblock to professional growth. It fosters a siloed work environment, where colleagues become focused solely on their own tasks and miss opportunities to work together and learn from each other. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone! If a request falls within the reasonable scope of your role and isn’t inappropriate, taking on an additional task can be a win-win. This allows you to gain valuable experience and showcase your initiative – both highly sought-after qualities by employers.

One final tip: change your attitude! Arriving a few minutes early and demonstrating a genuine desire to contribute sets you apart. Remember, companies aren’t just looking for the cheapest employee; they want the best person for the job – someone who’s reliable, proactive, and brings a positive spirit to the team.