Upon reading this title, you might think it’s too general. “How can this guy tell me how to become great at my job when he doesn’t even know what I do?” is a logical question to ask. But I can, and I’m going to, if you keep reading. Because this isn’t an article about skills. It’s an article about caring and about putting yourself at risk. When you’re done, I’m confident you’ll have a better understanding of what it takes to become better at your job.
1. Care Enough to Want to be Great
It doesn’t matter what you do for a living. You could be a janitor, a receptionist, a dog walker, a professional baseball player, or like me, a DUI defense attorney. At the end of the day, the only way you are going to become great at what you do is to care enough about your job that you’ll do the things that are necessary to be great.
This is what I mean. Let’s say you’re a janitor. You could just get by going to work every day and mopping the floor. If you wanted to be great at it though you might experiment to find which solution does the best job and is the cheapest. You might try different techniques that work faster and clean better. You might take enough pride in your job that you do your best job every time. That’s caring enough to want to be great.
2. Tell People You Want to be Great and Act Like You are Great
This is the part I mentioned earlier about putting yourself at risk. I didn’t mean a safety risk, I meant a risk of having your feelings hurt. See, when people think they’re great, or they are great, or, they are even striving to be great, the people around you will start to look at you differently. They’ll judge you differently. You’ll be held to a higher standard.
Now, that’s a good thing, but it’s also scary in some ways. When you fail (there’s no doubt you will fail at some point) people will be more disappointed in you, you’ll be more disappointed in yourself. But you can’t be great without taking that chance. It’s a requirement for greatness.
To take an example from my own life, when I tell people I want to be a great DUI defense attorney, they sometimes scoff. Not only do they not understand why I would want to be great at that, just thinking about saying something like makes them uneasy. And then, when you mess up at some point, they figure it’s over for you, when in your own mind you know that was simply another learning experience on your path to greatness.
You can be great at your job. It is completely within the realm of possibility. But until you decide you want to be great and then accept the scrutiny that greatness brings with it, you’ll never get to where you want to go.
About me – I’m a DUI defense attorney who works hard every day to be great at what he does. If you want to learn more about what I do, check out my website. If you want to talk more about this subject, please leave a comment.