How To Create Your Own Rules at Work

Yes, I know what you are thinking — your workplace has rules and you have to follow them! I disagree. If you are planning to carry out your job role in a mediocre fashion like the rest of your colleagues, then yes, adhere to all of the rules. But if you are wanting to rise to the top and truly become the number one employee at work, then you will have to start creating your own rules. Rules that suit you in your quest to become number one. This doesn’t mean to say that you totally go against the company you work for and cause havoc. Instead, you tactically bend the rules slightly in order to get the job done to the best of your ability.

Unfortunately, the culture in most workplaces does not encourage brilliance from its employees. Instead, it accepts the just enough to get by approach; this being the required amount to get your monthly pay cheque. As mentioned in my previous blog post How to Become Number One at Work, this is fine if you are happy with an average performance in the workplace. However, this will not enhance your overall contentment at work. If you really do want to become the number one employee and experience the sustained joy that comes with it, then you have to begin thinking differently.

Because of this lacklustre attitude from employers, it encourages employees like yourself to voluntarily fall short of even the bare minimum requirements. You see, if you as an employee cannot see encouragement from your employer to be the best, then you will be inclined to cut corners because you know that you can get away with it.

Take Ownership of Yourself

The only way to become number one at work is to start caring deeply about how well you are carrying out your role and creating new rules to assist you in this quest to become number one. So what do I mean by rules? These can be even the simplest, I will give you one example. In one of my previous workplaces there was a rule in place for what time the kitchen could and could not be used in the morning; a ridiculous rule, but nevertheless it was a rule. The reason for this was to stop employees “chit-chatting” and “wasting time” in the kitchen past 9 am when they were supposed to be at their desks working. So the kitchen was locked at 9 am sharp every day and reopened at 11 am.

For employees who were deliberately staying in the kitchen and wasting time, I get it, the rule stopped them from doing so. But what about someone like me, an employee who was quite frankly working every minute of the working day to hit their daily deadline (often taking and making business calls in the kitchen whilst making a coffee). Not because I chose the kitchen to do so, but because I was working constantly wherever in the building I was. You see, here is the difference: for employees regularly taking advantage, the kitchen rule worked. But for me, it made no sense at all. I was the best performing employee there, I barely had the time for a chit chat and I needed my coffee fix in the morning!

Being Number 1 Will Never Go Unnoticed

While this was never discussed with them, the receptionists whose job it was to lock the kitchen door undoubtedly recognised what I bought to the table day in day out. Why would they know this? Because if you are the best performing employee in a workplace, your positive energy and vibes inevitably filter through to those around you. As a result, my relationship with the receptionists was one of mutual respect both professionally and personally; perhaps none of my colleagues had a better professional relationship with them than myself. We built an immense amount of trust between us. Because of this trust, I was often given the key to open the kitchen during the restricted times. In the grand scheme of things this little privilege was far from a game changer, but it’s a great example of how your attitude and dedication at work can influence your day to day experiences within the workplace.

Become Untouchable

It’s important to remember that by creating your own rules you are making it easier for yourself to carry out your role better than any of your colleagues. Your quest to become number one at work means that you will undoubtedly have to work differently to everyone else. So as long as you are not turning the company on its head, you should not for one minute feel guilty about going against the office’s status quo. For example; if you know that the daily department meeting is hindering your progress instead of assisting it, you must let your manager know if you are answerable to one. If you show confidence in your reasons for being left out of these meetings, there is a good chance your manager will agree. However, you should only make requests like this once you have shown consistency in delivering top results.

Establishing yourself as number one brings with it a number of perks, but these have to be earned. Once you are able to reach that number one employee status, you will begin to see that your hierarchy (department heads, managers, CEO’s) will only ever disturb you if the matter is of an urgent nature. So essentially, you will become your own boss.

Believe me, when I say this, it’s the best feeling ever! So what are you waiting for? Step up and show them what you are made of.


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