By Theresa Eriksson, Senior Program Manager, JTS Utility Consulting
Over the course of my career, I’ve had the pleasure to work in a number of industries around the world and experience a diverse range of corporate cultures. Whether it be Sweden, Qatar, or Canada, I found that most people want to make a living, do a good job, and have some fun doing it. Yet sometimes it can be difficult to find the right groove and really feel like you’re doing a great job. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be more awesome at work — and at life.
Step 1: Show up
First of all, you need to show up. And by that I mean this: simply being present isn’t enough. You have to be in the moment. This requires focus and discipline to shut out all of those things that may distract you. This could be anything, from personal email, text messages, and Facebook, to daydreaming or getting caught up in too many water cooler conversations. Clearing away distractions leaves room to focus on what really matters — whether it’s the task at hand, what’s being said in a meeting, or what a team member is really trying to tell you. (It should go without saying that if you really want to rock showing up, you also need to be on time, well prepared, and dressed appropriately.)
Step 2: Team up
Be a team player and accept that a team has a multitude of different players, all playing different roles. Spending time getting to know your team is crucial, but you also need to make sure you know yourself. Whether you learn about yourself through silent contemplation, personality testing, or leadership training, you need to know your strengths, what value you add, what role you play, and how you fit in with your team. Put yourself in others’ shoes, listen, and aim to understand, not just to be understood. Remember to support your team members (and they will most likely support you). Lead by example, treat people as you wish to be treated, and act with integrity.
Step 3: Do your best
Do your best, every day. Try even when it seems hard — actually, try especially when it seems hard. Working with the Olympic Games taught me that doing your best does not just happen randomly: you have to focus on the task at hand and purposefully apply yourself. A good method to help with this is to accept that you can’t do everything at once. You need to break things down into achievable steps. Just be sure to take that first step, even if you fail. Failure isn’t fun, but it’s how we learn.
Step 4: Just go for it
Consideration is important, but avoid getting stuck overanalyzing. Worrying about worst-case scenarios will always keep you from achieving anything. Defy your fears by accepting them and then doing what scares you anyhow. You’ll find this very freeing.
Step 5: Have fun and take pride in your work
Having fun is a key factor in remaining motivated and energized. Think about what you enjoy about your work and strive to make those aspects of your job present every day. Enjoying and taking pride in what you do will help motivate you to deliver high-quality work — and, frankly, make you a more enjoyable colleague to be around.
Step 6: Repeat
Never give up. Accept that sometimes you will fail, and sometimes you will have bad days. Try and try again until you achieve your goals.
Theresa is a natural leader, driving business and technology transformation in multiple industries across Europe, Asia and North America. She is a true believer in doing a great job whilst having a good time. When she isn’t leading a technology or business management initiative you will likely find her travelling, running, skiing or reading a book.
JTS prides itself on making the complex simple. As a niche firm focused exclusively on the utility industry, our team has the practical operational knowledge, innovative thinking and sound business sense to help utilities safely, reliably and efficiently modernize their grid and transform their business for future generations.