Career success involves more than going to work expecting to perform the regular duties listed in your job description. Just doing your job is part of the work-for-pay deal you made with your employer.
For some, the day will come when the boss asks for more. For example, you’ll be asked to train others in a particular function, perhaps even your own job! It means more work, that isn’t part of your current role, for the same pay. Should you be professional and accept the training assignment or be assertive and refuse to take it on unless they pay you extra?
Let’s look at this situation a little more closely. There’s more to it than first meets the eye. Here are 5 really good reasons you should always accept, especially when training is not your job!
1) Your paid job exists to further your employer’s interests. Hopefully the employment relationship is one where both of you get as much as you need and little you don’t.
There’s nothing wrong with drawing lines in the sand if you’re happy playing in a smaller sandbox indefinitely. However, if the employer is not asking you to do anything illegal, unethical, or immoral you should give training others your best shot without expecting extra pay because it’s not part of your regular job.
You earn the right to get paid more for it by doing this training so well it adds irreplaceable and/or immeasurable value to your employer. Getting paid extra doesn’t have to be money, many other forms of compensation recognize outstanding contribution “above and beyond” the call of duty. Several of these are even more valuable than cash.
2) When an employer asks you to do something out of your comfort zone, it usually means they see potential in you that you may not have noticed yet and are willing to invest in you more than others in the company. They gamble that you will come through for them as needed. (After all, they are taking a risk you’ll deliver an acceptable result.)
3) When an employer asks you to take on training others specifically, they are placing the future of their company in the hands of your perceived abilities, experience and expertise. If that’s not a tremendous vote of confidence in you, I don’t know what is. Sometimes they’ve asked you because they have big plans for your future; plans they haven’t shared yet.
4) Such an assignment exponentially increases your network and visibility. Career success is not about who you know; it’s about who knows you! People you’ve helped train to be successful make great allies and supporters for you in the future. Nothing beats a word-of-mouth testimonial for your professional contribution, support and expert knowledge.
5) Stepping outside of your defined job role is the fast track to success. Quite often rapid career success happens because someone in power was willing to take a risk on you (sometimes a risk so large failure could cost them their own reputations) even though the true extent of your abilities is yet unknown and unproven.
Accept the challenge and you just might find many of the career opportunities that bring you the greatest satisfaction would never have been experienced if you hadn’t. There’s a pretty good chance they were never on the list of things you planned to do with your life.
We live in a world of unlimited possibility. Don’t shut yourself off with short-sighted thinking by not accepting a great assignment just because no extra pay is offered up front or it’s something you’ve never done before and you’re afraid to give it a try.
Does fear play a role in holding ourselves back? It does, but only if you let it. Successful people don’t have more courage than average people, they’re just willing feel the fear and take that next step into the unknown anyway. And they are willing to do more than average people will not, even when the payoff is not immediately apparent and no extra cash is involved.