Throughout my career I have worked to become a trusted resource to my clients, superiors, colleagues and staff. Of course this did not happen overnight, but I believe that a willingness to help others, a positive attitude and a vocabulary that rarely includes the word “no,” have helped me become a colleague that others can depend on and come to for answers. I hope these tips can be of some help to you in positioning yourself as a resource for others.
1. Have a positive attitude. I believe this is the most important factor in anything you do, especially professionally. Someone who projects that requests are an imposition, rather than willingness to help, is much less likely to be handed new tasks and given opportunities to work on team projects. Taking on unpopular projects has actually worked in my favor; it gave me my first opportunity to supervise staff.
2. Realize you have no job description. If the work that needs to be done is within your organization’s mission, consider it part of your job! Either get it done or to find the right person in the organization to do so. “It’s not my job” should never cross your lips – or your mind.
3. Share credit. When things go well and you get recognized for your contributions, be certain to recognize others as well. All of my efforts are supported by staff and co-workers who work on projects with me; and superiors and mentors provide guidance and motivation. Have the grace to acknowledge that the success of even your most arduous efforts is not yours alone.
4. Accept responsibility. When things don’t go as planned, there’s always plenty of blame to go around. Recognize your errors or omissions and what you can do differently, even if others also played a prominent role.
5. Remember everyone (or at least take notes on them). I try to “Rolodex” virtually every person I meet through my electronic address book, even if I don’t expect to have on-going contact with them. Make notes about where, when and why you worked with a person, then you can search and find them again in the future. Even if they have moved-on, you may be able to track them down again through sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.
Michele Mark Levine, CPA is the Director of Accounting Services of the New York City Office of Management and Budget. Michele advises on governmental generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP); assists in the coordination of the City's independent financial statement audit and Federal funds Single Audit; provides staff support for the New York City Audit Committee; and acts as liaison to the Office of the City Comptroller on accounting matters. Michele also serves as Comptroller of six public authorities and local development corporations related to the City. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the State University of New York at Binghamton and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Administration at Syracuse University.