Pour your soul in to what you do is truly what I believe, but you also have to watch out and protect yourself. Of course you have to strive and try to exceed expectations but that doesn’t mean you go forward one hundred miles an hour all the time without understanding where some of the lines are.

In whatever I do I always try to go all out but there is a line with work you have be aware of. What is line between going above and being taken advantage of. You have to be aware of your value and what you’re doing because it ultimately could devalue your work and yourself. While it may be naive to believe, but the bottom line truth should be you work hard to earn raises, promotions, awards and all of those things.          

Very often it isn’t that simple or straightforward, often times you have to wear multiple hats and fight for attention to achieve those things, again and again. Even when you exceed expectations it’s not always a positive. How often have you been a great employee but instead of being rewarded for that you just get more responsibilities. It seems like working harder actually gets you to pick up the slack other places. You likely have ended up picking up slack because you care too much and don’t want anything to slide.

At my first radio job I quickly became the Sports Director after the previous one left and no one was hired for it. At some point someone was going to have to pick up the responsibility, but everyone was concerned about their own jobs and let the slack fall to the side. I cared and loved working in radio so it became my job, as just a part-timer.

Early on at a job it is smart to lay low and let the ideas and great work speak for itself. I’m not saying bite your tongue because you should always be working hard and trying to generate ideas and make yourself stand out, but if you work hard then you will earn the credibility. I don’t want to throw out the phrase ‘Golden Child’ loosely, but if the rest of the work place is staying in place then you can punch up and push forward.

In media, brand is something very closely related to your career, but brand is something that everyone should consider. Of course there is the resume but with social media becoming so big and important in everyone’s life there’s always a chance to build a portfolio with work or even outside of that with your hobbies or passions. Food, travel, music, video games, everyone has a passion and there’s a way to add more dimensions. In our Drop the Mic podcast we gave several examples of how people have built reputations outside of their regular work.

There will always been roadblocks but the key is to finding passion in what you do. You can avoid a rut is to know what you’re doing, believe and always work hard. A lot of people around you can get beaten down and give up, but don’t let that happen to you. You can smash some of those barriers with effort and also, you can beg for forgiveness instead of asking for permission.

Do your work, strive to continually improve your circumstances and get better. Do it on your terms because you don’t want to devalue yourself. The quickest way to get stuck is to not have any boundaries or rules and allow yourself to do everything with no rewards. Yes, you have to go along to get along some times but make sure you know your value to continue to increase your value.