Rule 2 of Work: Never Stand Still
- Jul 29, 2005
Most people go into work each day with only one thought—getting through to going home time. During their day they will do whatever they have to, to arrive at that magic time. You won't. You won't stand still. Having got the job it seems enough for most people that they will just do it and thus remain static. But doing the job isn't the end game for you—it is merely a means to the end. And the end for you is promotion, more money, success, moving onward and upward, amassing the contacts and experience to set out on your own, whatever it is that is on your wish list—see Part 3. The job, in a way, is an irrelevance.
Yes, you have to do the work. And yes, you have to do it supremely well. But your eye should already be on the next step and every activity you indulge in at work should be merely a cog in your plan to move up.
While others are thinking of their next coffee break or how to get through the afternoon without actually having to do any work, you will be busy planning and executing your next manuver. In an ideal world the Rules Player will have got their work done by lunchtime, so that they have the afternoon free; to study for the next promotion, to assess the competition among close colleagues, to write the unsolicited reports to get their work noticed, to research ways to improve the work process for everyone, to further their knowledge of company procedures and history.
"IN AN IDEAL WORLD THE RULES PLAYER WILL HAVE GOT THEIR WORK DONE BY LUNCHTIME, SO THAT THEY HAVE THE AFTERNOON FREE."
If you can't get your work done by lunchtime then you will have to fit all these things into and around the work. What the competition will be doing is not doing them. But you don't stand still. Never accept that doing the job is enough. That's for the others. You will be moving right along preparing, studying, analyzing, and learning.
We talked earlier about the manager's walk; well, that's what you'll be doing, practicing the manager's walk—or whoever's walk it is you need to master. You have to see promotion—or whatever else it is you want—as a movement. You keep moving or you grow moss. You have to have movement or you grow stagnant. You have to like movement or you grow roots.
Movement requires of you that you don't sit on your backside and do nothing—don't stand still.