Keirsten Greggs’ “What’s Your Super-employee Superpower?”

What’s Your Super-employee Superpower?

I conducted a self-evaluation before beginning my new job two months ago to determine the image I wanted to project to my new company. The highly prized Super Recruiter Action Figure sprang to mind as I considered the influence I wished to have. (Believe me. Back then, owning one was a big deal.) I reluctantly agreed that any employee could be a superhero, putting aside the pervasive prejudice that “Recruiter” is the best profession. I then came up with a list that will be useful to everybody who has the misfortune of lacking their own action figure.

1. Wear a unique costume or uniform.

I heard a tale about Matilda Kahl, an art director, last year. Matilda had made the decision to wear a white silk blouse and black pants to work EVERY. SINGLE.DAY  three years prior . She has regained control over her work environment by making the decision to wear the same dress every day because it saves her time, gives her confidence, and empowers her. You might not want to wear such a strict work uniform. But regardless of whether you choose business suits, khakis and polo shirts, various cardigans, a characteristic hairdo, participate in “No-shave November” all year long, or accessorize with a certain item, just allow your unique, stand-out sense of style come through.

2. Have a secret identity. 

Most fictional superheroes prefer to keep their true identities a mystery, with a few notable exceptions. My friend’s five-year-old daughter expresses her opinions with assurance and confidence. She was enthusiastically welcomed at the door after a string of late nights in the office, and the following conversation ensued.

Five Year Old:  “Mom, you have the mostest importantest job in the world!”

Friend: “No, honey, it’s really not that important.”

Five Year Old: “Momma, taking care of us…that’s what I’m talking about.”

In case you don’t have a child to remind you, make sure that you have something outside of work that gives us a sense of purpose, and reveals your true identity. A superhero knows that a job is what you do and a secret identity is who you are. Don’t let your job be the only thing that defines you.

3. Identify and defeat your nemesis.

Each superhero must contend with a nemesis or weak point. A nemesis is, to quote my BlogFF’s son, someone or something that has the power to defeat you. Kryptonite exists for Superman. There are Ares, Cheetah, and Circe in Wonder Woman. Some of us struggle with this behavior. Employees put off tasks for a variety of reasons. Some people struggle with time management because they are lazy. Others relish the adrenaline of meeting a deadline as quickly as they can. Put weapons in your arsenal so you can defeat anything that hinders your development or causes you to veer off course.

4. Have a #Squad.

Collaboration can result in greater reward, as seen by The Super Friends, The Avengers, The Justice League, Suicide Squad, X-Men, and other super alliances. My observation is that workers who excel at work often attribute their accomplishments to other people. Your team should be made up of other superheroes who you can learn from and share information with, whose skills complement your own, with whom you’ve developed strong bonds, who inspire you to take more chances, and who will always have your back.

Lastly is the key ingredient.

To be a Superhero Employee you must have a superpower.

You can embody all of the characteristics listed above but won’t reach superhero status without the last one.  If superhero status is a goal, ensure that your employer and your job compliment the exceptional skills and abilities you possess.  Go forth and be a Superhero Employee.

Decide on a uniform.

Maintain a secret identity.

Work hard to ensure the times your nemesis beats you are few and far between.

Support collaboration with your colleagues.

Exploit your superpowers.

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