Go the extra mile

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- Going the extra mile in our jobs should be the norm rather than the exception.
Too many times people shy away from this concept and give their work sections a feeling of being unionized. They adopt the mentality of "It's not my job, so why should I do it?" 

It can be frustrating when you try to get something done and the only reply you get is "Sergeant Smith does that and he won't be back until Monday." No one else in Sergeant Smith's office can do or will do the job. Even worse, they might promise to get back to you and never do. 

We hear the words accountability, responsibility and taking pride in what we do. They are more than just words ... they have meaning and purpose and are intended to make you think and give you a benchmark to reach for. 

We are all here for the same reason--to serve and protect. This means our responsibilities are far reaching and don't have parameters. Now don't get me wrong. That doesn't mean someone from admin should be working on planes. It simply means if they aren't the person to do the job, they take the extra minute to recommend the right person for help. Let's not just say to the person "I don't know. It's not my job. I don't do that." 

We have to go beyond the mentality we are all unionized in our job titles and cannot step beyond that boundary. The most valuable employees to a business are those who are go-getters, self-motivated and have a well-rounded wealth of experience. In today's job market employers can afford to be very picky. Let's face it. If you can do more than just one area of a job you are more valuable than the person who cannot. 

We all have some level of customer service attached to our jobs, so pleasing your customers can mean more than just doing a fair and passable job. It means putting forth the extra effort to make it right. It means asking for help when you need it to complete the assignment and offering it when someone else needs it. In other words, take initiative and step outside your comfort zone. We can see examples of this in acts of heroism on the battle fields, but we can't limit it to there. 

As a supervisor, I don't want to come in and see things that need to be done and everyone is sitting around looking like there is nothing to be done. It is also disturbing to have someone with amazing capability turn in things that are mediocre at best because they just don't want to make the effort. 

Each day, I try to take a moment to reflect on the job I did and look at what improvements I could make. When I leave I ask myself if I feel satisfied with the job I did. Did I do my best? What can I do better tomorrow? Giving my best and taking initiative offer me the ingredients for a successful military career, and help me be successful in my civilian job and my home life. 

If everyone took the time to reflect on what to do to better ourselves, I believe a marked improvement would be made in performance. Setting goals, reviewing performance, taking professional development classes and improving ourselves will make us true professionals. 

Like with any aspect of our lives we must strive to improve or we stagnate. No one wants that to happen, so make sure you keep moving ahead taking every opportunity to learn, grow and develop.