WORKPLACE / JAN. 24, 2014
version 4, draft 4

3 Highly Effective Ways of Becoming a Resourceful Employee – and Keeping Your New Job!

So you got the job – congratulations. Sorry to burst your bubble, but now is not the time to kick back and relax – those days are still far ahead of you. It’s now time to start being resourceful at your new job – that’s if you want to keep it for much longer.

These are dynamic times, and as the times change, so do organizations and the way your job works. So you read the job description? Well, throw that out the window (right now!).

Trust me when I say that no one expects you to do JUST what’s written on there – you have to bring MORE to the job, they want YOU to change the status quo – so you definitely have your work cut out for you.

This guide will show you 3 highly effective ways of becoming a resourceful employee – so you can keep your job and grow in your career.

Grab your handy little notepad and a pencil, because you are about to get creative:

1. Think of Ways You can Add Value to Your Role

It’s your job. You completely understand what you have to do and how you have to do it – and that’s the problem. Thinking in terms of what you “have” to do, as opposed to what you “really should” do is a trap that many employees conveniently fall into.

Your job description is a statement of what is expected of you, but not what is desired. Show them you’re no ordinary Joe or Jane by adding value to your role – no need to go super crazy, but start by doing more than you’re actually getting paid to do – it will seem like a lot of extra work and stress now, but it will certainly pay off in the end.

Let me give you an example. Joe is a dispatch manager for a local courier service. He gets paid 20 bucks an hour to ensure that the delivery boys get packages to pre-arranged ‘drops’ on time. But Joe is no ordinary dispatch manager – he actually cares about his job despite the bad pay.

So Joe actually starts interviewing the delivery boys each day after work and studying reports on their performance. The result? Joe figures out a way to optimize their day-to-day delivery routes and assignments, and raises the branch’s profits by 30% after just six months on the job.

What happened next? Well, let’s just say Joe got a call from Corporate. Two weeks later, Joe shipped out to New York City to start a new desk job as Assistant Regional Manager of Sales! Can you believe it? Old 20-bucks-an-hour Joe!

That could be you!

2. Identify Creative Ways to Use Your Free Time

I’ll be honest with you. Nothing is really ‘free’ – not even time. And there’s really no such thing as ‘free time’. Come on – you’ll have plenty of time to take a break when you’ve made it to the top.

Now is actually the time to work, work, and work – unless you just love it at the bottom! Find creative ways to use any idle time you have. Let me give you an example.

Sarah packs hampers for a gift store. A typical day at work for Sarah involves walking around the store and selecting items to use for custom hampers that clients have specially called-in to request. Sarah has a lot of free time. She only works four hours a day at the store.

One day, Sarah gets an idea. Without telling her floor manager, Sarah decides to start including handwritten goodwill messages in the hampers – it wasn’t long before clients started noticing. Hamper sales went through the roof within three months and her manager still had no idea what was going on.

Happy clients started sending emails to the store’s corporate offices, and it wasn’t long before Sarah was identified as the brain behind the highly successful marketing strategy. And just like our friend Joe, Sarah was offered a job at the store’s corporate headquarters as a Brand Marketing Consultant.

Again, that could be you!

3. Develop a Multitasking Culture

The final nugget I’m going to give out today is on the importance of developing a multitasking culture.

Resourcefulness and versatility are kin subjects – and neither of them can exist without a very important 12-letter word: M-U-L-T-I-T-A-S-K-I-N-G.

Can you juggle several things at once? Handle many responsibilities at the same time? Oh no, I know you’re only human – trust me, even your boss knows that. But when people see that you have no problem going the extra mile, they start to notice you.

Now, I’m going to talk about myself. I started out as a freelance article writer for a local startup magazine. My job was just to write a couple of pages a week on a few subjects their publication covered. Since I was the most tech savvy on the team, I was asked to maintain an online repository where writers would send in their articles prior to publishing.

Don’t ask me why, but for some reason 90% of these articles went straight to print without any form of editorial review – I guess the editor had that much faith in the writers. I didn’t necessarily share that conviction, and I could see that the readership of the publication was suffering as a result of the low quality of many of the articles.

So, I took on myself the added and uncompensated task of becoming a Quality Control Officer – basically reading every other article submitted to the publication and editing them, sometimes almost entirely, to ensure that they were all SPAG-proof and that they matched the tone and character of the publication.

Do I have to say what happened next? The readership of the publication grew and when word got out of my activities, I was offered a staff writer position with full pay and benefits. I went on to keep that job for another three years before landing my first overseas gig.

Finally, that could be you!

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