Here they are – the “V” and “I” words: Volunteer and Initiative. They’re two factors leading to job success – and concepts that many people avoid like the plague. And yet, in these times when companies are downsizing and laying off, these are the very things that may just keep you on the payroll.

The rap on both is that they can lead to more work. Well, DUH! Yeah! Of course they represent more work. So what? Extra effort is what increases your ability to make a difference…to develop, grow, and show what you can do. That’s how you separate yourself from the rest of the pack. That’s precisely why volunteering and displaying initiative are success factors.

Put yourself in a boss’s shoes for a minute. Who are you more likely to identify (and treat) as a rising star – an employee who just does what he or she is supposed to, or one who is always looking for additional ways to contribute? There’s a no-brainer! Of course it’s the person who seeks additional responsibility…the person who finds things to do rather than waiting for those things to find him or her.

Fact is, to be noticed, you have to do things that will get you noticed. Remember that the next time you see something that needs to be done; remember that the next chance you have to volunteer for a special duty or project. Raise your hand, step forward, and say: “I’d like a shot at that.” From going out of your way to pick up a piece of trash, to offering to stay late to help fill a customer’s request – just DO IT!

Wanna be successful at work? Eliminate “It’s not my job” from your thoughts…and your vocabulary.

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