The title has a bad connotation, but I’m going to clear that up. I’m not a bad employee in the sense that I don’t add any value, take my shoes off in the middle of meetings or eat coworker’s food out the fridge. I’m a bad employee in the sense of, I get no enjoyment from being head down in work while someone else reaps the benefits and rewards. One of my best skills is the ability to lift projects, people, ideas, etc. to the next level. I have a knack for taking regular ideas and making them exceptional. This means that I will always push forward.
I can’t remember how many meetings, I’ve sat in where I’ve heard the phrases, “it’s what we’ve always done.” “Status quo” or “what we did last time was…” I have a love for analytics, so I’m not against using past information at all, but I do believe that if you hold on to yesterday too tight, you will run the risk of never seeing tomorrow. Want some examples of my logic played out?
Remember these guys?
What about this store?
Does anyone even have a Blackberry anymore?!
All companies that secured a market share and tried to hold onto it until it was gone instead of branching out while they still had the chance. I see this pattern in almost everything companies do from the inside and that’s what makes me a bad employee. I’ve worked at companies that wanted me to wear hard-soled shoes, polos and khakis every day. I shunned that to wear what I wanted because that’s where the industry is headed. It definitely created some waves internally, but that’s life. When you deliver and are specialized in an area you can make a few small waves here and there. The good just has to be frequent and it must outweigh the bad. I wore what I wanted but I also worked every day for 4 months and some days would work 8 am to 9 pm until projects were done without must assistance. See, not so bad an employee after all.
Me working past 5 PM on a Friday.
Not everything about being a employee is so ‘bad”. One thing I’ve learned along my way is the importance of speaking up. As someone who is used to hearing no, I became accustomed to making my own way and taking on tasks that I should have been delegating. Speaking up and letting folks know that I need help in bringing tasks to a close has been a major hurdle, but I’m working on it. Also I have met some of the most educated, hardworking people in my career. I’ve met and partnered with Ivy League alumni who have taught me work habits and tricks that I never would’ve learned independently. There are definitely benefits to being an employee.
So given that I’ve always found myself frustrated by the confines of being an employee, what did I do about it? Well I work for myself now. I get to flex my ability to elevate ideas in my own right. I am a digital marketing freelancer and that gives me exactly the satisfaction that I need. All my traits of being a bad employee transferred into me being an amazing freelancer. I’m able to elevate ideas, set my own company culture, and generally work with a larger budget. So bad employee or not, things are working themselves out.
What are some habits that make you a bad employee? What are you going to do about it? Tweet me your responses at @_ThreeStacks and follow me on Instagram @WillBradley3rd.
All my work is found on my portfolio at www.WilliamBradley3rd.com