A good friend and I were enjoying dinner recently, and he asked me what I thought about personal branding as it relates to jobs. As the CEO of his own company, he was interested in the people who did their job vs. those who did much more than was expected. I had a lot of advice on the topic, but one thing became very apparent to me. Employers have problems. They have issues that they need help with. But some people will fill an open role and some will see a problem that needs to get fixed. The problem solvers are usually the best employees. Instead of looking at a role myopically, problem-solvers don’t worry about their job or function, they worry about fixing the company’s problems as a whole. They start to think more strategically and start to think of all the different types of solutions that could solve that problem. In short, they think like the CEO.
Instead of letting a role define what you do, allow yourself to innovate and define the position. As an employee you need to be creative–you need to use your unique talents to figure out all the ways to get the most out of the problem you’re fixing. Do not be afraid to step outside of your job description. Ask yourself the right questions. Step outside your role and ask yourself what’s the problem you’re fixing.