Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: What are some of the biggest mistakes that great employees make? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.
I’m going to answer this as ‘what mistakes do great employees make that don’t allow them to become rockstar employees?’.
1. They Clock In, Work, Clock Out
The difference between a great employee and a rockstar employee is the amount of value that they bring to the table. I don’t advocate for living your life based 100% on your business or professional pursuits but the rockstar employees are the ones who when they go home they keep learning.
They’re the type which will be on Quora learning, absorbing and spreading their knowledge. They keep up with the status quo and leading innovations in their industries and even their positions. That may mean studying about new and upcoming technologies within the IoT sphere or new software engineering PM angles which are being taken.
The ones who come into work, do their job completely and then leave are great employees. Those who try to improve themselves, their craft and their abilities consistently are the rockstar employees.
2. They Don’t Take Enough Risks
Great employees are able to do whatever they are given. Whether it be some huge, valuable project or just a list of tasks which need to done. Being consistent and correct goes a long way toward being one of the best employees. However, they never take risks because they just want to do what they are told. They see their job as a set of guidelines and tasks and as long as they complete it they’ll be okay.
Rockstar employees are out there pushing the limits on what is allowed or possible. They’re willing to sacrifice and go through discomfort it the payout can be huge. Great employees try to lose small, whereas rockstars want to win big.
3. They Never Challenge Their Superiors
In the same vein of the above, the great employee is someone who managers and superiors are likely to say ‘he’s one of our hardest working employees’ or ‘I love working with him’. Obviously nothing wrong with this, but the rockstar employees are willing to challenge and push their managers when the time comes and they know they’re right.
It’s a risk, and requires you to know more than your manager at times to be able to stand up to them and say ‘I don’t think this will work because (x) and (y). How about we try to do (z) instead?’. But that’s what rockstar employees do. They consistently challenge themselves and those people around them in order to grow.