The Power of Ownership in Your Career

Have you ever been to a restaurant and got killer service? I mean the kind of service where the waiter delivered an unforgettable experience and left you feeling cared for, valued and satisfied? Contrast that with another time when you were waited on by a person who definitely did not want be there, let alone take care of your table’s needs. If you go out to eat at all, you’ve probably experienced both ends of the spectrum. Sometimes I’ve attributed the difference in service to the waiter’s natural disposition or if they are having a good day or not.  But I believe that when you distill it down, the difference usually comes down to one thing…personal ownership.

Twitter thread of my best career advice

Let me ask you this. Let’s say you own a business. If you could choose between these two waiters to work at your company as an apprentice, which would it be? Which do you think would rise to the occasion and become an exceptional employee? The one who shows up ready to deliver an amazing customer experience, or the guy who does the minimum that’s expected of him and leaves your customers with a bad taste in their mouth? It probably goes without saying that any business owner in their right mind would hire the former rather than the latter.

I don’t think it can be overstated how important ownership is in your career. The best career advice I ever received was from my father. I obviously didn’t have a recorder running, but it was something like this… “The best employees/entrepreneurs treat their job with ownership. When they see a piece of trash in the parking lot, they pick it up. If there’s a job undone, it’s there’s to do. They never say, ‘that’s not my job’ and they never talk bad about their managers to other people. They own what they got, they seek to own more, and where other people get frustrated by obstacles, they see business and career opportunities.”

If you’re frustrated or stagnated in your career, consider increasing the ownership you have of your own work. I think you will be surprised by the positive changes in your personal career advancement and/or your business’s performance.

Practical next steps:

1. Own What You Got

Take a hard look at your work performance recently. Are you actually executing on everything you are supposed to? Have you let some less important job responsibilities slip through the cracks? Are you consistently delivering on internal and external customer expectations? If you answered no to any of those, start now. Start taking ownership of what’s been given to you before looking for more (or asking for a promotion/raise).

2. Own Some More 

If you believe you are executing on all the basic requirements of your job, take it upon yourself to see if there are any improvements or over above efforts you can make to add value to your customers or employer. (Don’t skip past step one though; the last thing your boss wants to hear is that you want more work (a promotion) when you’re not even handling what you have right now.) Seek to add value to coworkers who are struggling. Look up and look around to see if there’s anyone you can help.

3. Create Even More to Own

Once you are consistently delivering over and above results, you’ll see that your boss and customers are starting to take notice and maybe you’ve even been rewarded by a promotion. Don’t stop there though. Keep innovating. When you see some trash in the parking lot, pick it up. When you identify a potentially confused customer, spend some extra time helping them come to a resolution. Are there faulty systems causing employees or customers some frustration? Propose some alternatives. Is there something your boss hates doing and always complains about? Ask to do it for them.

Whatever you do, don’t complain. Don’t gossip about your manager, and definitely don’t talk bad about your customers. Step up to the plate and treat your work as if you were the CEO, and you’ll be amazed at the results.

This article was originally published by Josh Newman @ on 18-Nov-2019

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