What motivates you at work?

When I was 18, I landed my first internship at one of Canada’s top advertising agencies. I spent that summer taking notes in meetings, photocopying, mounting creative for presentations, planning the summer party.

You know, all the glamorous, highly skilled jobs 🙂

I will never forget though, my boss sat me down early on and gave me one of the single best pieces of advice I have ever heard: focus on finding ways to make yourself indispensable to the people that matter.

Whether you are an employee at a business, a freelancer, dealing with customers or building a new client relationship, this piece of advice still stands today.

It’s also how you work your way up through the corporate ladder faster than most, from being an intern to being a director in less than five years.

Advertising is a cut throat industry. You can loose a piece of business fairly quickly and the mid level staff are often the first to go. But I know I survived so much upheaval simply by making myself indispensable.

This piece of advice came back to me the other day while I was obsessing over one of my latest mentors – Brooke Castillo of the Life Coach School.

In one of her recent podcast episodes she was talking specifically about being a good employee, what motivates you and why it matters. I have probably gone back now and listened to it half a dozen times. She is a brilliant teacher and there are so many juicy nuggets scattered throughout.

The single biggest take away for me though is regardless of your current job or the situation you’re in – whether you love what you do or are using it as a stepping stone to something better – being a good employee is about doing your job FOR YOURSELF.

It’s not about showing up for a pay check or showing up because someone else asked you to.

You don’t do it for the accolades. You don’t do it for your boss.

You show up for yourself. To demonstrate to yourself what you are capable of.

You commit yourself to doing the best job YOU can for yourself.

It doesn’t matter if you’re serving coffee, driving an Uber, or doing a floral installation. Make it your mission to do the best job anyone has ever done in that job. Be intentional. Be purposeful. Because you respect yourself and you deserve it.

You show up, you demonstrate to YOURSELF what you are capable of.

At the end of the day, when you lay your held on the pillow, you need to know you f$%kn’ slayed it.  You did the best you could.

Even as the boss lady in charge, I show up and there is no half-assing it.

When you’re one of the ones in charge, yes, you could sit back, put your feet up and drink tea all day. But that’s not me. That’s not the way my brain operates.

I show up for myself, so I can demonstrate TO MYSELF what is possible. Because I respect myself and I want to continue to treat myself that way.

And I know, when I put my head on the pillow at the end of the day, I did the best I could on the day.

I did indeed, slay it.

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