Go Above and Beyond -- Do a Bit More than Asked

Symptom:  You do the work you are assigned by your boss, and you do it well.  But you haven't yet been promoted or gotten a big raise, and you're not really sure why.  Maybe she doesn't like me?  Maybe it's my clothing?  You're just not sure...

Cure:  If you want to advance your career you need to go above and beyond, and do a bit more than you were asked.

Why it Works:  An exempt employee earns a salary.  This means you are not paid by the hour, or by the job.  You are simply paid based on your experience, your qualifications, your education, and the prevailing market price for similar workers.  How much work you do for the pay you get is an item for negotiation between you and your boss.  It is also one of the central decisions that will make or break your career.

Doing a bit more than asked can have a large payoff for you.
I have personally observed a wide range of attitudes on this point -- some people always do more than they are assigned, some tend to do just barely enough.  Of course people that can't complete the tasks they have been assigned generally wash out of the company fairly quickly.  But a great many people, either consciously or unconsciously, figure out what it takes to get by and then adjust their work habits and output accordingly.  Such people will never get the big raise, or the big promotion.

If you intend to advance your career, you must always do a bit more than you were asked.  Not less.  And, there is always more work to do at a growing and dynamic company -- even if it's only doing competitive analysis on the web.  There's usually a lame project somewhere that could use some redefinition and reassessment.  If there is really nothing else to do, that is a bad sign!  Your company or group is in big trouble!  It's time to start looking for a new job!

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