“Self reliable, that makes you responsible…
…it may be a lot of work
But in the end it’s the job that pays you well”
Happy freakin’ Independence Day, America! That’s right, today’s the day we said “[email protected]*k you!” to taxation without representation, shoved a middle finger up at the red coats and decided to ride or die our own way. Ah, early America was so punkrock. <3
It’s that same spirit that drives the CareePunk mentality. Be your best self and unapologetically blaze your own trail to success. Punk band H2O sang it best in their road-to-adulthood anthem, Self Reliable. Accountability and self reliance is the path to independence! In last week’s article we talked about the advantages of being a team player. If you didn’t get a chance to read, you can find the post here, titled: “The ‘I’ In Team Is In The A-hole.”
But this week, in celebration of our nation’s independence, I want to discuss the importance of being able to ‘work independently.’ This is a skill that I look for in any candidate that I hire, regardless of the position. Do you need to be spoon-fed each and every task you do? Are you able to complete those tasks on your own or do you constantly ask others for help, lost on how to address, research, or even attempt a solution?
With the exception of training and the ramp up time for a new role,
if the team spends more time helping you, than you helping them,
consider yourself an encumbrance to your colleagues and only dragging them down.
As an independent worker, however, you can uplift your team (and yourself) by demonstrating self-reliance, initiative, and resourcefulness. Hell yeah.
- Hate being micro-managed? Prove your productivity when unsupervised.
- Want more autonomy over your projects? Show off your kickass ingenuity.
Working independently is a great way to showcase your dependability and versatility, both key components of those looking for a promotion in their career. But becoming a successful independent worker comes with benefits and drawbacks. Knowing those drawbacks ahead of time can help you overcome them. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of working independently below.
|* Time management is in your total control. You decide at what pace to work and what to prioritize and when.||* Full responsibility for execution, despite illness or vacation etc.|
|* Better productivity (from distraction-less environments, people, etc.)||* Motivation is often dependent on oneself; lack of immediate support|
|* Direct and entire credit for accomplishments.||* Total blame for failed tasks.|
|* Autonomy in decision-making.|
For each ‘con,’ one can be proactive in how they deal with solutions. 1) Make sure you account for missed time when committing to a deadline and don’t procrastinate upfront, wasting potentially valuable work hours. 2) Keep yourself motivated by listing the rewards of completion. Is it just a task you have to finish for your job or will there be more time in your day to work on other projects to get ahead. Perhaps even you gain time for extracurricular activities. 3) As far as being the only one to blame for failure, turn this ‘con’ into a ‘pro’ by allowing it to always teach you the lesson of accountability.
And if you’re looking for more opportunities to establish work independence think about asking your manager for the following:
- Special project delegation. Show and prove with actual tasks where you are the sole contributor. Make sure you’re ready for the challenge because the success could lead to additional opportunities
- Special training opportunities. Are there new skills you can learn to improve your value as an employee? Seek them out on your own and show your manager how you’ve completed them, the results, and what you were able to accomplish, independently.
- Ask for experiential advice. Managers will frequently work independently, ensuring overall strategy and following through on tactics. Seek out their experiences, challenges, and successes.
Working independently offers the foundation for resourcefulness and initiative, autonomy and ownership. Strengthening these skills make you a better employee and a more valuable teammate when the need arises. So what do you think about being an independent worker? Are these skills helpful or just an impediment to working as a team? Leave comment and let us know!
Happy 4th of July, everyone!
This is just one aspect of career advancement. To learn more ways you can get promoted continue the series here: “Simply Master These 4 Areas To Get Promoted”