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9 Things That Make Your Real Job Better


9 Things That Make Your Real Job Better

You probably have a job description.

Most people in a career, paid work or even a volunteer position have a job description.

Even if it’s extremely well written (and I envy people who can write killer position descriptions), it isn’t enough.

And besides, chances are you barely know what it says.

I have one somewhere. I rarely look at it. Because if I did, it would probably only lay out things that someone with a pulse and a heart would do if they had my position.

In fact, doing what’s in your job description rarely impresses anyone.

You don’t get any real points for showing up or coming back from lunch on time.

Because real leadership happens off the page.

Real leadership is hard to write down. It’s about who you are as much as it is about what you do.

So why don’t we write an unofficial job description?

The one that truly advances a mission.

The one that really pushes your personal envelope.

The one that helps your organization make progress faster.

The one that really makes you so glad you’re working.

The one that makes you the kind of servant leader that people want to be like and be around.

The one that one day is going to make you glad you lived.

If you do the 9 things below, you probably don’t need to ever look at your official job description again. And I think it will make your job far more satisfying, whatever you’re doing, whether it’s an entry level job you can’t stand, a job you feel stalled out in, a corner-office-on-the-top-floor position, full time studies, staying at home with the kids or volunteering in a church or community group.

In my experience, when I’ve done these 9 things, I’ve loved whatever I’m doing. Sure there are tough days, but attitude changes everything.

And when I see others do these 9 things, I can’t wait to work alongside with them. Actually, I can’t wait to be around them. I can’t wait to recruit or hire them. Or even hang out with them.

1. Bring your best, every time. Go to bed early. Work out. Take care of yourself. Be fully present. And bring your best not only to work, but bring it home when you greet your family. Here’s a post on 11 ways to bring your best to the table every time.

2. Manage your energy more than your time. Your energy is the best thing you bring to your work. You know when it’s there and when it’s not. And so do the people around you. If you’re like most people, your energy isn’t constant. Give your biggest tasks your best energy. Empty your inbox when you’re tired, not when you have the fuel to tackle something really big. I wrote a post about the importance of energy management here.

3. Make others better because they were around you. John Maxwell calls this one of the highest levels of leadership there is. Lead that way. Take a genuine interest in others. Help them accomplish their goals. Pray for them. Make them better people because they were around you. If you have people like that in your life, you know how grateful you are for them.

4. Make a difference, don’t just make a point. Andy Stanley spoke about this so well when talking about how people discussed public affairs. But his insight goes far beyond viewpoints people make on public life. Don’t just be right. Do right. Who cares about your point? Go make a difference. Wherever you go.

5. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself and about yourself. You will grow. God uses this. It’s linked to confession, to growth and to transformation. Have the conversation with yourself before someone else needs to have the conversation with you. Your family, children, friends and co-workers will thank you.

6. Ask hard questions. What’s the question everyone is afraid to ask? What’s the question you’re afraid to ask? Go there. It might be a breakthrough in more ways that you think.

7. Set goals. Personal ones. Spiritual ones. Annual goals. Monthly goals. Weekly goals, Daily goals. It will motivate you, and you will look back on each season, month and even week with a sense of satisfaction. Occasionally, you’ll look back with astonishment at how much ground you were able to cover.

8. Believe the best about the future. Too many people let their defeats define them. Don’t. Believe the best about the future. Michael Hyatt recently did a podcast that is worth every minute of the listen called “Change Your Story, Change Your Life”. Go listen.

9. Persevere. I talk (and write) about perseverance a fair bit. Every time I talk about it, it gets a bigger response than I anticipated. Yes, life is hard. But keep going. Don’t quit. I’m convinced people quit moments before their critical breakthrough. Here are some posts on pushing hard through the rough waters in your marriage, in your life and in your job. You’ll be thankful you did.  When you quit before you should, you forfeit your role in the story God is writing.

Those are 9 things you can bring to any job. And if you make them your real job, I think you’ll have a much more rewarding experience. You might even discover your dream job – no change in position necessary.

What would you add to this list?

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  • Too many times we take our jobs for granted. We GET to go to work when others are out of work and many have been for a while. We take the gift of employment for granted especially when the workplace becomes difficult

  • Really inspiring post. With the majority of people disengaged from their jobs there’s a real need to help leaders and team members get the best out of their roles.

    Taking Risks is something I’d add – it’s one of the consistent lessons I’ve learned from older leaders.

    Thanks for writing this!

    • cnieuwhof

      Roy…love risk takers. Great addition!