Why You Need to Always think Like the Boss, Even if You Aren’t One

Just because you don’t own the company you work for, doesn’t mean you apply an owner’s mentality to your work.

Thanks to The Great Recession and advancements in technology, the workforce is tighter and more competitive than ever before, and it’s not getting better anytime soon. Simply being good at your job is no longer enough to advance your career. In today’s workplace, companies expect everyone to do more with less, and this approach is here to stay. At first glance, this new expectation can be intimidating; however, taking a more pointed and deeper look will uncover a new age of possibilities for workers open to seeing them.

Most employees don’t take initiative and ownership of their careers, and instead take a passive approach by waiting around for direction and only doing what’s assigned and hinging their success on others’ decisions. What’s worse, most people don’t realize that owning their own career and seizing opportunities is very simple. With a few small changes in your approach, you can make a big impact on your career’s trajectory.

Realize that every problem or challenge offers at least one opportunity. If you live by these words, you already have an entrepreneurial mindset. Most people only see problems and get defeated, but if you can find opportunities within dilemmas, you will be able to continue to grow your career.

Don’t get lost in the details and forget the big picture. Thinking strategically about how best to get your job done is obviously important and is  what you’re paid to do, but it’s just as important to understand how your job impacts the organization as a whole. Ignoring the big picture is a sure-fire way to stagnate your career.

Thinking entrepreneurially means understanding how your job fits in as only one a piece of a much larger puzzle. Employers want to know that you’re capable of understanding and supporting the company’s overall goals, and there’s no better way to display this quality than to step up when challenges arise and contribute outside of what’s ordinarily expected from you.

Brand and market yourself. You don’t have to be self-employed to dedicate time and energy to branding and marketing. You are responsible for your own career: it’s your choice to show up each day, stay late, or seek a new opportunity when your current one no longer serves you. You have to learn how to market your success and show your value to current and future employers.

Part of thinking like an entrepreneur is considering your brand and dedicating time and resources to marketing. This let's your employer and other contacts know that you are a serious player in your organization or industry, and someone to be considered for future opportunities.

Wall Street veteran Lindsay Broder (on twitter: @occupreneur) is a certified professional coach known as The Occupreneur Coach. Based in New York, she specializes in Occupreneurcareer coaching, strategy & consulting services for highly successful professionals & organizations who strive to improve one or more aspects of their businesses or careers.