It is gonna pretty impossible to succeed if you only do what is necessary. You need to be motivated and want to do more than what is asked. You need to accept the task, accomplish it, then think about what more you can do. Can you can do it any better? Is there anything you can do in addition to the task? Do you have a new idea you can bring to the table? It is all about the yes and. Here is an excerpt from Forbes about having that positive, motivated attitude.
Though I am a NYC native and could very convincingly write about the value of talking to the hand, for career success, it is far more powerful to talk to the “and”. By this, I am referring to a lesson from improvisational theatre, where a cardinal rule is known as “Yes, and….” This rule means that you accept whatever your scene partner says as true (the YES part) and you build on it (the AND part). In career management, this means that, rather than being cynical and jumping to the downside or a negative view of what is happening, find a way to assume there is a positive and think about how you can build on the opportunity.
One job seeker reported to me that her first interview question was, “Where are you from?” This was from a top iconic brand like Apple or Pepsi (it was neither of those companies but just as well known). If you just react to this, you might get uncomfortable (does he think I don’t belong?) or outright mad (that’s a discriminatory question!). If you assume the positive, you interpret the question as the interviewer developing rapport at a personal level or trying a spin around the age-old “Tell me about yourself” interview question. Where you are from doesn’t mean just race or ethnicity, but geography, schools, earlier industries and previous experiences. So YES, use this as a springboard to talk about your personal background AND weave in your professional accomplishments and value.
If your boss doesn’t give you a role on the next big project, don’t assume she overlooked you. Maybe there is a better, more suitable opportunity she’s holding out for you. So, YES, there could be an opportunity, AND you need to find out what it is. YES, there are great projects to be had, AND you need to ensure your boss knows you want one. It’s not about being overly optimistic but remaining open to the possibility that there can be a good outcome AND responding proactively.
The volatile job market increases everyone’s anxiety. But even at 10% unemployment, that still means 90% are employed. Instead of getting fearful, get curious. Who is getting these jobs? There is a higher than usual level of uncertainty. YES, AND I will cast a wider net, make sure that I stay grounded by taking better care of myself, and be one of the successful 90%.