Beyond the call of duty .

If you want to succeed--overachieve!

Like most professionals, Bakari Adeyemi is only required to work about 40 hours a week. But as assistant director of field experience at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, he commonly finds himself working extra, unpaid hours coordinating events, making presentations and providing career counseling.

What distinguishes Adeyemi from the rank and file is his no-nonsense attitude and a willingness to work as hard during overtime as he does during business hours. “My job requires me to put in a lot of time, so the dock doesn’t dictate when my day ends–my workload does, “he says. “Going the extra mile isn’t an option–I do whatever is required to get my work done.”

How does your work ethic rate? Do you leave at 5 o’clock every day, even if you still have work to do? Do you think it’s unnecessary to do your best if your efforts won’t be monetarily rewarded? If you think overachievement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, beware: you have a greater chance of being passed over for promotions.

“There are two types of employees: those with jobs and those with careers,” says Terri L. Freeman, president of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region in Washington, D.C. “Mediocrity may keep you employed, but it certainly won’t help you develop a successful career.”

A healthy approach to your workload can boost you up the ladder of success. To help you develop that winning attitude, consider the following:

  • Get organized. Effective time management will greatly increase your productivity and lessen the occurrence of mistakes.
  • Understand and commit to the company mission. Know your company’s goals and determine your role in meeting them. Devise a plan to help you achieve your purpose.
  • Keep it real. If you know you can’t meet a certain deadline, let your supervisors know immediately. Above all, if you need help, ask for it.
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