Doing Things Well
by Geno A Bulzomi

An important rule of life: whatever you are doing, do it well—really well, even if you don’t like it!  We have all had jobs that we really did not like.  While working at those jobs did you just get through the day with the goal of getting to quitting time as fast as you could without having to put much effort into work?  A lot of people are shaking their head in agreement after reading that sentence.  It is very easy to fall into that trap.  Here are three reasons why just getting by could be harmful to your career:  

  • Your efforts, or lack there of, will be recognized
    • Do not kid yourself, people can see if you are giving 100%.
      One never knows what opportunities may be available at your current workplace. 
    • A promotion or dream job may open up while you are there, but you can forget it—management will not give you a second chance to redeem yourself; once you burn that bridge your chances are gone.
  • The people you are giving 80% to might know the people at the place you are willing to give 110%
    • People often remark “it is a small world” and there is truth to that.  Your current boss may golf with the boss at the place you apply.  Do you think you will get the job—no.
    • Even if your boss does not golf with the boss where your dream job is advertised you can bet they may have a “friend-of-a-friend!”  
  • Your own self-worth and ethics will, in the end, suffer
    • You can tell yourself that the job is no big deal and that you will do better when you get a job you like.  That is not reality.  Reality is that every time you under perform you are slowly resetting your own work habits or ethics.  Before you know it your 100% will change to your 80% and your 80% will be a mere 60% of your true potential.   Your productivity will spiral down to below average even when you feel that you are giving 110%!
    • Switching from 80% to 110% will be harder than you think.  After performing at 80% to get to the 110% level, or even the 100% level, (if you can at all) may make your dream job harder work than it is worth.  Setting a low standard and living down to it sets trends and creates habits that are hard to break. 

P.T. Barnum once said that “every crowd has a silver lining” and he felt that it was his job to ensure that when they left he had their silver.  Everywhere you work there is a silver lining to be had.  Performing at 80% will not get you 80% of the silver, it may well get you none of it.

Material can be used with proper citation:
Copyright, July 2007 (Bulzomi, Geno)