Recently I had the opportunity to take on a highly visible project at work, one that most people would jump at and one that two others are actively fighting over now to control. There’s only a slight chance that this project would lead to a promotion or raise but it would definitely lead to valuable new skills. The fact that I turned this down is the reason I’ve never been the work superstar. Note: I am taking on another project that would take just as much time and hard work but is simply less exciting and with less in-fighting over responsibilities.
After making this decision, I realized that I have often make “bad” decisions in terms of career because I don’t go for the highly visible projects or positions. This is not always a bad thing. I still find ways to challenge myself. I do lead interesting and valuable projects and I’m not the one saddled with grunt work while everyone else gets the high-profile projects. However, I don’t invest enough in my career to make that superstar impression and that’s the reason I continue to be the “valued yet despensible” employee rather than the true star with management potential.
I would be lying if I said that this doesn’t bother me on some level. It might have been good if I had planned out my career path in my late 20s or early 30s. At the same time, I try not to dwell on regrets. I am a professional with many valuable skills, enjoy my job for the most part, and have always balanced work with life.
If you’re looking for ways to be a superstar at work, you’re at the wrong blog. I do give advice about enjoying your work and career, but I admit that it has never been my top priority.
What qualities do you think make someone a “star” at work? Are you a work superstar?