You Are An Asset
I was talking to my mother recently about how I was once told off at work for wasting valuable resources, to put wristbands on plush toys to encourage nervous children that it was safe to put their arms through my window for their own. She argued that surely, my ability to think on my feet, find a solution to a potential issue, and rectify it before it occurred, in a manner that was encouraging, and kind, provided exceptional and commendable customer service. I agreed, and, ultimately, despite having used precious recourses to achieve this feat, I was still commended to be one of the best sales-people in the company.
I have worked in several different businesses, and have received many critiques and comments about how I work, reflective of the environment, the services they provide, and the nature of the company culture. Just as I had there. The difference was, that in these varied environments, there were scenarios where I felt that if I were to vanish from the shop floor, I would not be missed, the contributions I made would mean nothing.
But, reflection has opened my eyes to limitless interpretations of myself, my flaws, and the skills I highlight as my strong-points when interviewing. I have always acknowledged my keen eye for detail as my weakest point, as I can become so fixated on providing perfection that I may step on colleagues’ toes and micromanage the proceedings to make sure what I perceive as quality work is being delivered. However, this may manifest in different ways; when I was working in food and service, I was the most thorough with cleaning equipment etc. in order to assure that there would be as limited of a risk of cross contamination as possible, dedicating time that I probably didn’t have in hindsight, to scrubbing every orifice of the machines we used. Just to be safe.
In one of my more recent roles, I was consistently commended for my positive attitude and eagerness to jump up and try new things as I was exposed to them. My willingness to put myself out there for my job, with a “why not” attitude was a strength I had not previously seen in myself, in my former workplaces. Instead, my questions would prove draining.
But in spite of these things, I have existed in a perpetual state of fear that I had made no impact. It was unlikely any of my customers would remember the girl who put a wristband on their child’s teddy so they could match, or the face of the girl who made their drink. Would my former colleagues recognise me in the street? Would I recognise them if they weren’t in their uniform? What was it like to have significance in the working world?
Have you ever experienced the feelings of always being second-best, reaching the limits of your potential and being unable to exceed those above you, no matter how much effort you expend? I believe being unable to reach the goals, and be acknowledged due to being beneath those who keep his company, is significantly more universal than we may assume. The idea that some individuals in business look down upon their colleagues and are unwilling to listen to their opinion can cause great upset for those who work in these organisations. Which is something that Leslie Stein’s TED Talk: The Inner Journey To Leadership, explores; the idea of speaking up and attempting to implement her opinions in the workplace, comparing her experiences during military service, and then further offering comparisons to the world of corporate America. She offered the following take: “I couldn’t believe how much wasn’t being said to bosses; yes, they have titles but do they know everything. So many of us are sitting on the side-lines with valuable information, precious insights and experiences that only we can share, and we’re waiting for the invitation that’s not on the way”.
But, what is immensely important to remember is that you are an asset. You are always an asset. Whether or not you are the face of the company, or the person everyone wants to talk to when they’re being served, the person who gets dealt the most compliments, you are an asset. You. You are a unique culminations of thoughts, opinions, and experiences that the company you work for should be willing to tap into. And, if they are reluctant to do so, you should tap into it; use your voice, and do it yourself. Bring your light to work; make your space somewhere you want to be, somewhere that inspires joy, and let that positivity ebb from you, like the sun’s rays stretching over the horizon.
Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (www.TheAgileWorks.com), is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.
He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.
The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.
To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org