What does it mean to go the extra mile? It dates back to a Biblical teaching, but it has very real, very pertinent implications for life in 2020. Doing more than is expected sets any worker apart from the crowd. It involves doing stellar work, but it also includes doing more work as well. It implies one does this without being forced or noticed, as a matter of course. It comes with and often without rewards.
There’s a word for it—integrity. It’s not one of 2020’s most valued words, so you certainly don’t hear a lot about it, but when you are looking for one trait to propel you toward success, don’t overlook integrity. It will take you where you want to go. It includes things like honesty, loyalty, accepting responsibility and timeliness, but it ties these qualities of exemplary performance into one neat little word.
First of all, realize that there is always someone watching you. As a child I worried about Santa Claus every December, did he really see everything? I later decided he didn’t, but I soon realized that someone did! Whether it was a clerk, a family member, a friend or the neighborhood busybody, someone always noticed what I was doing. This became painfully clear when I least wanted attention, but someone eagerly pointed out my lack. I finally accepted it. The universe has eyes and it’s not afraid to use them!
More importantly, realize that one of these silent watchers is your next employer or the big break you’ve been wanting. Many great roles are filled long before they hit the job market. These jobs require a special kind of person, and powerful people are always on the lookout for stellar candidates. If you want to be considered, become one of those candidates.
- Show up ahead of time. Be ready to work.
- Do more than is expected. Clean up the area. Get things done.
- Respect store policies. Don’t always be asking for special favors.
- Don’t get into arguments with others. Respect opinions and keep your mouth shut.
- Fess up when you make a mistake.
Career counselor Michael Page suggests that this quality will not only help you realize your professional goals, but benefit you within your private life as well. Living by these maxims will make you a person of integrity.
- Keep your promises, even when they aren’t self-serving.
- Never betray a friend’s confidence.
- Refrain from gossip.
- Return what you borrow.
- Don’t let a little money trip you up. If a cashier fails to charge you for something or gives you wrong change, pay what you owe.
Let integrity become your highest standard. It will pay for itself, trust me. The universe is always watching!