Introducing the Wurqs values
Whether you call it your personal reputation, profile or brand, we all care deeply about our perception and place in professional society. New jobs, great people to hire or business opportunities are all fundamental by products of our professional reputation.
The way we build this profile has changed dramatically in recent years too. Rather than spending years and years at the same company working our way up the proverbial ladder in order to make it to the top, we are increasingly bouncing around between companies, industries and careers to accelerate our ascent. We now recognise the value of garnering a range of experiences in order to not just showcase our potential, but to grow as a person. The analogy I personally like to use, is that careers nowadays are more like patchwork quilts than scarves.
But for many of us that still isn’t enough. We still aren’t comfortable leaving our destiny in the hands of our employers, and as such we pursue activities outside of our day to day in order to showcase who we are and what we are capable of. We launch blogs, videos, websites, social feeds — you name it, we launch it — all with the intent of ‘building our profile’.
But this has created a new challenge. You may be creating wonderful things of recognition and value, but as access to the technology ‘to create’ democratises, the volume of these things spun out into the universe now means it is increasingly hard to truly stand out. This generally creates a mindset and attitude that we need to work harder and hustle harder, and to continue to create in the hope that eventually something sticks.
Well, I’d like to challenge that mentality today by asking why we’re never instructed to ‘human harder’?
Being a human being isn’t just the most natural thing on the planet, but it is also without question the most valuable asset for any person looking to go somewhere in their careers. When you refocus on being a human being, your shift is away from yourself and onto others. This well recalled Maya Angelou quote encapsulates why this is important:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
We expel so much energy on talking and doing to build our profile, that we often neglect the thing that will leave the most lasting and powerful impression. Millennials are a generation who’ve been told the world is their oyster and anything is possible, yet this guidance is so focussed on selfish gains rather than worldly ones.
I do believe however that with a gentle and constant reminder of what it means to be human in the work place, Millennials have the potential to truly flourish and grow together.
So what does it mean to ‘human harder’? Well, having spent time talking to over 50 professionals (many of which are employers or managers) about people who stand out as great humans in their professional lives, I’ve managed to define these five principles. It is these values that guide the mission of Wurq, and will provide the fundamental foundations for the products and services we create in the future.
1. Contribute to community
“Team player. Present. Participates.”
As human beings, we thrive on community. Being part of something bigger than ourselves reinforces a sense of purpose, but also helps us understand our role in the universe. That said, just being one of the numbers isn’t really enough. Contributing in meaningful ways is key — this might be sharing knowledge, forging collaborations or just being truly present. Most importantly, contribution infers playing your part in helping the group towards a bigger goal.
2. Be helpful
“Generous. Giving. Useful.”
Being helpful doesn’t always mean pushing your personal boundaries, or even going out of your way, to help another. We tend to forget that what might take very little effort on our part, could be huge for someone without the skills or capabilities we possess. We could all do more to be helpful each day to the people around us, and it starts by understanding what our value is and how we can share that value with the world around us.
3. Share authentically
“Vulnerable. Genuine. Open.”
The world is leaning towards those who live authentically, and the cultures of modern companies now pride themselves on hiring genuine human beings who do so. So much of our output online is focussed on trying to portray a facade, but the reality is, the content that resonates is that when we share what is true to ourselves. Whether it’s sheer pride in our achievements, or acceptance and recognition of our weaknesses, it is the authentic self that people want to see, and respect.
4. Build genuine relationships
“No agenda. Empathetic. Caring.”
Building a professional network is important to us all, but we often get caught up in two mindsets: 1) building a big network, and 2) focussing on relationships where we see potential value to ourselves. There is nothing wrong with these mindsets, but we seem to adopt them when we most need it. My personal mantra is to build relationships before I need them, and this has meant withdrawing the expectation of a value exchange from any person I meet. This means you can focus on just enjoying building strong and meaningful relationships with smart people, and that the value (whether a new job, a new hire, or a new partnership) will come organically in time.
5. Invest in yourself
“Always learning. Reflective. Growing.”
This isn’t something we associate with our reputation and profile, but it is arguably the most important of all. Our willingness and desire to become more self aware, and in turn invest in our own journey and development, is pivotal to success. And this doesn’t just mean training courses to develop hard skills. It’s equally our willingness to learn more about ourselves, the way we think, the way we operate, and how we respond to feedback in order to improve. This is probably the hardest part of being human, but without a shadow of a doubt the most rewarding.
Really owning these values, and making them part of who we are and how we operate does take time and energy, but it is worth it. Being mindful of ourselves and our relationships is a much greater investment in our professional growth than any course, blog or twitter feed. I can’t wait to start launching products that will help you out at work.
If you want any guidance or advice on how to work on these values in your day to day, feel free to drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’d be happy to help.