Take The Next Step. Go The Extra Mile

Working today with a great client of mine around her personal branding, we delved into the research she’d completed with those who know her. This, coupled with what we unearthed in coaching, revealed one character description that kept rising to the top: “Takes the next steps.”

What a great attribute.

Imagine being known for your natural inclination to always take the next step and go the extra mile. Who wouldn’t want to be working alongside this person? What about being led by her? I’m certain we all would.

Unfortunately, taking the next step and going the extra mile is a behavior that was expected of those in older generations and to be honest, in other cultures. Today it is a rarity in the U.S.

Now before you get all fired up, I’m not basing this on opinion, but on fact. For years there has been an ongoing trend at home, in the workplace and in schools to use reward systems in order to inspire action and it’s often especially required when asking someone to go the extra mile. This is perpetuating a huge problem we know as entitlement.

I’ve seen this for myself first hand. As a child, I would be rewarded for a non-fussy visit to the doctor’s or dentist’s office. Now I find myself picking up a latte after an appointment. Come on, Kim. What happened to the reward simply being good health?

Okay, so we’re all a little entitled and needy.

And yes, organizations are not always doing their part to cultivate a culture of recognition and sustainability. And yes, junk media is inundating us with the message—immediate gratification or ELSE!

But we have many options to break out of the fostered habits of impatience and instant gratification and work towards the long-lasting and bigger rewards that come from accountability, patience, determination, hard work and taking the extra step.

Working with clients in all generations and industries is a gift to me and the bonus is that everyone of my clients sees this vision and is working hard every day to build an engaging career. But it takes work. No excuses, but hard work. And they are up for the task and are willing to go the extra mile to build careers that are rewarding for them and their families. And by doing so, they are recognized as those who go the extra mile.

Here are some small ways that you can be known for going the extra mile, starting today:

  • Answer, don’t ignore, emails and messages. Even better, make time to respond in person;
  • Don’t complain about being asked to do something that’s “not in your job description.” Just do it (of course if this becomes a habit, it needs to be addressed);
  • Volunteer for projects or look for ways to be a solution and be seen as a leader;
  • Check in with your network—yes, even when you don’t NEED them for something;
  • And, probably the easiest way, spend a few minutes listening to someone, even if you’ve heard the story before.

How to Be Career Happy? Take The Next Step. Go The Extra Mile

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