Not only does Chelsea St. Clair have one of the dopest names I've seen in awhile, but she also suggested a topic that I loved instantly. Chelsea is a Brand Strategist at Arnold Worldwide, and this week, she brings her perspective as someone one year out of school to provide tips on building an intangible quality that agencies look for: being a handraiser. Here's Chelsea.
In every job I’ve had, I’ve encountered two types of employees: those who come in and do their job (for better or worse), and those who come in and leave a place better than they found it. The latter doesn’t apologize for being who they are. They work to make the people around them smarter, more curious and harder working. They receive more opportunities, advance faster and gain supporters who work to advocate on their behalf. These people are handraisers.
Now you must be thinking, how do I become such a fabulous employee? Here are three ways to get you started in becoming a handraiser.
You can learn a lot about by simply saying yes
I know, so cliché and there are a lot of people with their own opinions on this. Heck, there was even a movie about it. While I don’t advocate for all his craziness, I do think there’s a valid point to it. I’m going to add my own 2¢ and hopefully it’s helpful to you.
By saying yes to a new project, you might learn a new skill. By saying yes to after work drinks, you’re helping to create company culture. By saying yes to a conference/program outside of work, you open the door to meeting people in the industry. Constantly look for ways to gain new skills, meet new people and prove why you’re the best in your role. Doing this will bring opportunities to your door, and you'll become integral to the team. You might even learn a little something about yourself.
When exercising your right to say “yes”, remember that not everything is worthy of your time. If it’s not adding value in your life, team or role, then don’t be afraid to say no. As Drake says, “know yourself, know your worth."
Insert yourself into the conversation
The hardest part of being new in any job is finding your voice. I have been at my job for almost 10 months and still sometimes feel that I don’t have the knowledge or credibility to push back on some of the strategy I’ve written. Whenever you get this feeling, fight it. Use this feeling as motivation to say something: whether it’s a question or a comment, put yourself out there to better the conversation and make sure you’re invited to the next meeting.
And if you’re worried about asking a question, remember this: those who ask questions are fools for five minutes, but those who never ask questions remain fools for a lifetime.
Inspire those around you
Whether it's traveling, concerts, photography or some other artistic, creative-fueled passion of yours, do it and don’t be shy about it. Share what you love and ask those around you what they like to do as well. This will not only build community and camaraderie in your office, but will get those around you thinking about what impassions them. And when you get to talking, it will fuel your creativity and keep inspiring you. It’s a never ending cycle of positivity in your life where you're constantly bettering yourself and those around you.
Perhaps you don’t feel that you do anything outside of work that seems extraordinary. But going to a new restaurant in the north end or heading off for a weekend to go to a BBQ festival 45 minutes away can still work to inspire those around you. It’s all in the way you tell the story...drop a mic at the end if you have to.