The 7 Jobs You Need To Learn
If you're currently looking for a new job -- or want to move ahead in the job you already have -- there are seven jobs you need to learn.
Don't panic. You won't have to work seven times longer or harder. These jobs can easily be integrated into your current work with minimal effort. They are accomplished simultaneously with your primary work by changing your orientation and focus and, if done correctly, they will greatly increase your value to your employer, customers and colleagues. As I discuss in my new book, "Up, Down or Sideways: How to Succeed When Times Are Good, Bad or In Between," the ideas that follow will greatly increase your odds of success, regardless of the job market or future circumstance.
1. Experience Manager
Every interaction with another person creates an experience that leaves a memory of you and your work. How are you consciously designing these experiences to be positive? Enriching? Rewarding? Lasting? Since most people don't tell you about their experience unless it is awful, you have to work intentionally to design experiences that draw people back for more and that gets them to tell others about you, your products, and your services.
2. Value Creator
All great employees (including CEOs, owners, board members, etc.) add value to the organization's offerings. Being a value creator is a form of job security. Value neutral employees are interchangeable or worse, replaceable.
3. Talent scout
Identify people within and outside your organization who would be a valuable addition to your team. Talent scouts have the ability to understand the talents and abilities that individuals possess and match them with organizational needs. This makes your team stronger, but it also makes you a go-to person for resources and talent advice. Others will want to know who you know who can help.
A person is known by the company he or she keeps, and an organization is known by the people it keeps. You represent your organization, as well as yourself, to customers and vendors. Learn the history of your organization well enough so that you can share it frankly and passionately with outsiders.
Increase the good that happens around you by noticing and noting it to others. Most people can spot what's wrong and complain about it. An amplifier knows the work around him well enough to spot what's right, praise the work, and praise the person or people responsible for it. Good news often is so subtle that it needs amplification to be heard. Noticing good work and telling others is a positive influence on any organizational culture.
Internet data is broken into chunks called "packets," and routers make sure those packets go where they are supposed to go. Similarly, a good communicator makes sure information gets to the right people in a timely manner. Peter Drucker famously said that good communication is about who needs what information and when. Developing the judgment and discernment for routing information correctly and efficiently is a valuable skill set.
As Erwin Raphael McManus put it, "People don't need more information. They need more insights." Understand information and how it applies to the people and circumstances around you. Offer context. Offer insights. Provide the links that turn chaos and confusion into order.
Look for opportunities to practice these jobs each day and you'll be amazed at the benefits you create for others in your work.
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Mark Sanborn is author of the new book, Up, Down or Sideways: How to Succeed When Times are Good, Bad or In Between, and president of Sanborn and Associates, an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and life. He is an in-demand speaker and consultant who has worked with more than 2400 clients, including Harley Davidson, Costco, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, FedEx, Hewlett Packard, KPMG, Morton's of Chicago, New York Life, RE/MAX, ServiceMaster, Time Warner, Upsher-Smith, and The United States Air Force Academy. His website is www.marksanborn.com.