It’s in your interests to do your job with all the commitment, skill and flair that you can reasonably bring to your role. Effort and a sense of achievement are happy-making and success building.
The implication of average performance is lower standards and expectations for yourself. Low standards are flattening and a habit of low effort makes is a difficult starting point if you're called on to lift your intensity.
When you work to your ability and beyond, you're intelligent about your work, seeing how it fits into the larger system. You notice opportunities for performance improvements and so you, and your results, get better. And when the situation arises for you to step up or out, you're already up on your toes.
Maintaining motivation is difficult when you're not working towards a goal that grabs you. Along with meeting KPI's, you'll want to set your standards and goals, and not rely on employers to make your work interesting.
When it comes to talking about your work, doing your job well makes you aware of what you've brought to the role and the organisation. It also makes you conscious of the tangible results of your efforts.
Have you heard about the fixed versus growth mindset? The narrowest definition is that someone with a fixed mindset knows they have fixed potential and possibilities. Someone with a growth mindset knows it's possible to develop skills and talents, in addition to those they most clearly have. They set themselves up for an adventure, exploring their abilities and interests. In the movie, The Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne describes growth mindset much better. He says you can get busy living, or get busy dying.
When we do great work, when we learn and master new things, when we contribute to success - we feel proud of ourselves, we have purpose and meaning, and that is a glorious way to lead your work life.
* One important exception to this challenge is that if your role has been made redundant and you’re finishing up in hours, days or in a week or two, it’s in your interests to turn your attention to the future.
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