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Does your company deserve you? 4 questions to ask

Does your company deserve you? 4 questions to ask Sean Cheyney

Are you working hard or hardly working? It's usually asked in jest, but it has a deeper layer of truth behind it. While it is commonplace for people to complain about their jobs and their company, the complaining typically revolves around the question, "Does my company deserve me?" A more likely scenario is they are asking the wrong question. Maybe you should be asking if you deserve to be at your company.

Does your company deserve you? 4 questions to ask

Am I making an impact or do I leave a crater?

Are you having a positive impact on key business metrics? For positions that are easily measureable (like sales and many marketing positions), this translates to whether or not you are hitting your goals.

Your company doesn't deserve you
Are your goals clear? Do they often change arbitrarily? Do impediments out of your control prohibit you from reaching your goals regularly? Goals will always change quarter over quarter, depending on business needs and business climate, but the key is that you receive clear communication on these goals and have a clear understanding of "why" they changed. Finally, goals should stretch you, but should not be out of the realm of possibility.

Start with communication. If you are ever unclear regarding your goals, then get clarity from your manager. If there are road blocks (and there will always be roadblocks), then work together with your manager to come up with solutions to overcome them.

You don't deserve your company
Be honest with yourself. Are you sitting back and waiting for everything to be spoon fed to you? You need to move from a passive mindset to a proactive mindset. If you sit back and wait for things to happen, you'll most likely get kicked out the door.

Am I a good fit or poor match?

Your company doesn't deserve you
Do your suggestions fall on deaf ears all of the time? Is an out-of-whack work-life balance the norm? Are you a positive person surrounded by a pool of negativity? Just like evaluating a romantic partner, you need to have a clear understanding of what is important to you and then find a company that aligns with your beliefs. When you leave an organization that is no longer a cultural fit to join one that is, you will be amazed by the boost in your quality of life and overall well-being.

You don't deserve your company
Did the company culture seem like a fit when you joined? After a few months, is the culture what you thought it would be?

Nobody wants to believe that they are the problem in the organization when it comes to culture, but you need to take a hard look at this possibility in order to prevent it from being a problem throughout your career. If your company were a person, do their values, mission, vision, and action align with someone who you would want to be friends with or someone you would avoid like the plague? With the amount of hours you spend working, cultural fit is often the most important aspect when it comes to your well-being and happiness.

How is your attitude in relation to company culture? Are you a naysayer when it comes to new and exciting projects? If so, you are being a drag on your entire group. Your manager and coworkers are keenly aware of it, and they will likely resist collaborating with you as a result. There is a time and a place to be the bull in the china shop. Working together with your team as a valuable asset within a cohesive unit will help raise your value to your team and your company. Word will travel, and if you are the rotten one in your group, your coworkers will know it.

Am I a life preserver or a brick?

Do you make life easier for your manager? Do others frequently look to you because you help make things easier for them? Everyone wants to add value and be looked upon favorably by those around them. Are you an asset to those around you or a drain?

Your company doesn't deserve you
Are you communicating consistently with your manager and making yourself available as a resource to lend your expertise to your teammates? When you proactively make yourself available, do you receive a polite smile with no other acknowledgement or takers?

Focus on the areas where you can be an asset to your organization, especially where you can make a direct impact on advancing a project that will result either in cost saving or driving revenue. Communicate clearly and continually, especially with your manager and team. If the culture promotes project hoarding and silo building, then you may not get any takers on your offers of assistance. It could also be a sign that your ideas are not well-received or that your value isn't as high as you perceive it to be.

When you are fortunate enough (as I am) to be part of an organization that values your input and contribution throughout the organization, it alters your demeanor for the better and has a positive effect on your well-being.

You don't deserve your company
Do you possess areas of expertise but keep your knowledge to yourself? Do others ask you for help and collaboration, but you blow them off because you are either too busy or don't value their projects as important?

Chances are you are viewed within your organization as a lone wolf who doesn't play nice with others. You may be smart, but it doesn't do any good if you keep all of your knowledge and ideas to yourself. If you want to increase your value within your organization, share your ideas and be an asset to those around you, especially with your manager. Remember, your actions should be focused around being an invaluable asset to your entire organization.

Am I the smartest person in the room or the slowest?

Does anyone notice when you go above and beyond the norm? Is your output and contribution consistently far above everyone else at your company? Are you always (be truthful) the smartest person in the room?

Your company doesn't deserve you
If you are the smartest person in the room, then you need to find a new room. Do others look to you for every project because nobody else in the organization possesses the knowledge or desire to lead and execute projects?

Your value to your organization may be high, but it is much more rewarding to be part of high-producing team full of extremely smart people than being part of an organization full of mediocre drones.

You don't deserve your company
Is your best work normal for most of the people at your company? Does it take you twice as long to complete projects compared with others? Are you over your head or truly have more work that one person can handle? If you are overloaded, then you have the opportunity to raise your hand and provide solutions to your manager.

Take a hard look at the expectations and compare them with your capabilities. If you are in over your head and you feel like you are working all the time with little to no results to show for it, then there needs to be a change. Talk with your manager and get some assistance so you can get your production up. If you are so far over your head that you are at the point of no return, then you aren't going to last long.

As you figure out who deserves whom, consider your mindset on Sunday evening as you get ready for bed. Are you looking forward to the week or dreading it? Being an integral part of a high-performing team with the right cultural fit will have a life-altering impact on both your personal and professional life and future.

Sean Cheyney is the VP of sales and business development at Triad Retail Media.

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"Students hiding their faces with a question mark sign" image via Shutterstock.

Sean Cheyney currently serves as VP, Audience Extension, at Triad Retail Media, where he oversees sales, strategy, training, positioning, implementation and growth of audience extension sales and solutions for Triad’s clients including Sears,...

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Commenter: Melissa Rausch

2014, November 12

What an eye opener!