For many people, their dream job is to be their own boss. They believe that if they just worked for themselves the world would seem like a better place. In their mind, working for yourself means setting your own hours, your own priorities, and only doing what seems right to you. Reality could not be farther from the truth.
Most self employed people will tell you that although you sometimes have a little more flexibility, working for yourself really means that you work for everybody else. The demands of the customers, deadlines, and schedules are much more of a taskmaster than most people ever face in a boss.
Success in any job is almost always based on the same criteria. It makes little difference if the boss is yourself or someone else. You still have to show up for work everyday. The job requires that you log your time and be productive as you do it. You have to be considerate of company resources and others that may work there. And, the customer is still king, and it never pays to argue with a customer. When you argue with a customer, even if you win, you lose.
The fact is that you must treat every job as if you are working for yourself. Employees that succeed on the job and get ahead learn this lesson. Those who fail to learn it condemn themselves to mediocre jobs, job performance, and never advance. So, if it is so important, what is required to treat a job like you are self employed?
Take responsibility for quality.
You cannot help what others around you produce. If you are given the right materials to do the job, you can control what you produce. While quantity is important to have enough product to sell, if quality slides, customers will find new sources to get what they need. Most customers can live with slower output, but they will not often tolerate inferior products.
In any company, it is the workers that dictate the quality of the output. If the workers do not see the value of doing a good job, the poor quality will soon have them out of work. Always think like the customer. Ask yourself on each task. Would I want to buy this item? Make sure that the answer is always yes.
Watch for ways to improve the product or its production.
To compete, companies need to produce a good product at a reasonable cost. When a company can make a superior product at a cost that is less than the competition, it will make a lot of revenue. This will translate into higher wages and better benefits for employees. It may not happen immediately, but it will improve your income either through higher wages or through a nice promotion if you are responsible for this type of change.
Be an encourager.
Take responsibility for improving morale in your area or department. This does not mean become a cheerleader. Do things that make people feel better about being at the work place. Work to let those around you know that you are as concerned about them as about the product that they produce. People work better when they feel appreciated and believe that someone cares.
When it makes sense, take charge.
Be a leader. If you owned the company, you would either be the leader or no one would. In your department, you can take a leadership role to help motivate others to keep things rolling smoothly. Companies need leaders at all levels. Those who are willing to take on the role without being asked and do it well are noticed quickly.
Should you be unfortunate enough to work for someone who views this as a threat, you may have to change jobs. Rest assured, most employers value this type of employee and reward them accordingly over time.