By Ibby Smith Stofer
Are you a company advocate? Many people profess to be an asset to the business they work for or own. Are they really? What exactly is a company advocate? Advocate in Webster’s dictionary is defined as one who supports or promotes the cause of a group.
Advocating for your company may sound a bit self-serving to some, and I suppose it can appear that way. But, if you look at it from a different perspective, being an advocate can be understood as taking the initiative to help your company distinguish itself in the market.
Think about your colleagues. Do any of them fit the definition of an advocate? Look at yourself through the eyes of your customers and colleagues. Do they see you as someone who is supportive of the company and its goals? Do you support your boss and team? Or are you someone who just comes and goes doing whatever is defined in your job description? Do you think about new ways to tackle issues or problems? Or do you just report issues? Do you offer your ideas and suggestions on how to improve the existing base of business?
Your employer hired you because they saw you as a valued team member. They saw you as someone who could not only do the job, but had the skills and ability to grow with the company. Decades ago automation was integrated into both the automotive and banking industries. Today we can use a phone to order dinner or shop online for almost anything. It is not unusual to purchase shoes, electronics, groceries, cars, and even mortgages all online. Because of these technology advancements many roles in the service industry have been replaced. Who will be next?
While these advancements in technology have replaced jobs in many industries they have not fully replaced all employees. The employees that embrace change and are advocates see that the future is linked to ever-changing technology. They do their best to help their company remain viable. These are the employees that are too valuable to be replaced.
So once again I ask you to think about how you approach your role within your company, no matter the industry. Change is never going to stop. What was is gone, and what will be is not yet known. You have the power to help make your company better. Listen to your customers and colleagues, research the industry, and offer your suggestions. Be a problem resolution expert and even better, be an early warning system of what could go wrong. Keep an eye out for your company. Stepping outside your specific job description can be uncomfortable for some. For others, they see this as an opportunity for growth. Those who are committed to making the company the best it can be are those who will grow with the company. If automation and other technologies are adopted, those who are advocates will likely gain new roles and responsibilities, while those who stayed within the comfort zone of their job description may not fare as well.
Give it a shot. Make a choice today and see how you feel after a month of being an advocate. Don’t judge it after a day or two. Take a moment to talk to those within your company who have already embraced this approach and learn from them. Thank them for being an advocate. There is no guarantee of recognition or reward, but often times greater job satisfaction comes to those who advocate for their company. That alone is a reward!