Where’s the room to get better?


Doesn’t matter the kind of work we do…

you and me…

we can all plateau,

at some point.

And for different reasons.

For example…

When we feel we’ve been full circle.

Cause we’re sure we’ve learned “everything that’s important to know” in our job.


when we’ve come to gauge how much effort,

and time,

we must put into our work.

So it meets our boss’ standards.

Over and over.


when we get bored by the work itself.

Cause it’s repetitive,

it’s short on the variety of things we can do.

Or the number of people we get to meet,

or talk with,

on any given day.

There’s also when…

what we get in return for “putting in an extra effort”,

remains the same as when we “make the minimum required”.


Punching 50 hours a week?

Rather than the 40,

that most people on your team settle for?

Doesn’t matter.

You get paid for 40,

every week.

“Cause you’re on a year-based salary.

Not an hourly-based one.”

Getting more customers to buy something at the boutique…

on average,

per month…

than your colleagues do?

Doesn’t matter.

You all get the same pay raise,

at the end of the year.

“Cause it wouldn’t be fair to everyone,

if you each got a different raise.”

So says your boss,

or your employer’s policies pamphlet.

A situation that leaves you thinking something that sounds like :

“So… I’m not working for a company that likes to change how things get done, when it can. You know, make them better. Even if only a little. Nope ! I’m working for a bunch of people who just want things to stick to the way they are. Cause that’s how this company ‘s been making money, for… I don’t know how long.”

Put in other words,

you feel you’re working for a company that lives by this (timeworn) mantra :

“Why fix it, if it ain’t broken”.

How do you find room to get better at the work you do,


When you feel you’ve plateaued ?

You can try to take your skills set to the next level,

at your job,

or in your field.

By making the case to your boss that you should get a promotion,

or more responsibilities in your team.

Or by asking for a bigger pay raise than your colleagues.

Or by sending your resume around.

To companies you think they’d be interested in hiring a guy,

or gal like you.

With the background that you have.


what’s to say you won’t plateau,


in that new job?

Once you’ve learned all the nuts and bolts that come with a new role?

And you’ve got good at meeting a boss’ standards,

all over again?

Learning what plateaus are about helps finding some answers (to these questions).


for the most part,

plateaus are about knowledge,

and execution.


“the things you’ve got to learn…

to carry out a certain task…

and how are you supposed to use them.”

Which leaves a big chunk of “doing a job” all by itself;

your style.

Which relates to “personal taste” and “personal touch”.

Take this for an example:

Two accountants.

They both have a degree from the same college,

and the same program.

They work for the same consulting firm,

and print out the same list of pre-formatted “fiscal year reports” to all their clients,


When it’s time to give these reports,


here’s what the junior accountant does:

– He meets with his client in person;

– Takes the time to go through the reports’ summary;

– He highlights 2 or 3 key differences between the most recent balance sheet and that of the year before;

– And explains his invoice;

– All before leaving his client with this: “Take the time to read the reports, and call me if you have any question. Or need any advice on how to get the tax credits or apply for the R&D subsidies I told you about.”

All while the senior accountant does this,

with his own client:

– He asks his assistant to send the reports and invoice, by mail, to the client;

– And to make sure to add this note in the envelope: “Hi Sarah. Just like last year, here are your company’s financial reports for this year. Call me if you have questions. Pete. P.S. My invoice is at the back of this note.”

Same work.

Different “delivery” style,

sort of speak.

The fun part?

You can notice the same kind of difference between two baristas,

who are told (by their manager) to draw a flower,

in the foam,

on top of every coffee they serve.

Or among a group of sales reps.

One reason why is this:


or “the following of a certain list of steps to carry out a task”,

is what makes “the content of your work” the same as everyone else’s on your team.

But “style” is what sets you and your work apart from others.


when you notice you’re going round in circles,

“moving your skills set to a different head office” is one option.

But how long before you plateau again?

Or a hiring manager lets this comment slip through,

during an interview:

“It would just be too risky for us to hire you.

Cause you like to jump ship (syn: job hopping) too often. Almost every 12 months or so.”


How many ways are there to draw art,

on top of a coffee?

How many versions of “What can I help you with?” can you ask,

to learn what someone is looking for,

when they walk in your boutique?

And then,

arguments you can use to make her look at 2 or 3 “best possible matches” to her need?

How many times can you take a report,

and give it to a client one way,

or another?

Is there even a limit?

As to how many times you can change,


sharpen or polish your style?

Not that I know.


as opposed to a “list of steps”,

“style” always provides room to get better at the work you do…

and let you find the sort of progress,

or personal satisfaction you might be looking for.

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