Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How Do You Define "Above and Beyond?"

Your answer may not be as simple as you may think. I heard four out of five people answer the question with this response, "I will do whatever it takes to complete the project on time."

Sounds like a great answer, doesn't it? One we would most likely say ourselves. But is it the best response? Ponder this just for a moment. Isn't this what we get paid to do? Deliver our projects on time?

How do you perform, or your associates, depending on your position, that seems truly "above and beyond?" In our industry of marketing, branding and advertising, working overtime, "doing what it takes" are common workplace norms. There is nothing exceptional about it.

By now you're waiting for my answer, so here it is: doing something that is not in your job description or an industry expectation. I hate to give examples, because to define it any deeper only limits the answer, but here are some guidelines: doing someone else's job, that is not the same as yours; presenting an observation or recommendation that benefits the company that is outside your position's scope; exemplifying personal latent skill sets applicable to your department or company.

If you're a hiring manager, ask this question and carefully consider the correct response. If you're a job seeker, carefully consider your response. If you're actively employed, start working above and beyond.