I have an easy goal in life. I try to always be as useful as possible.
One way to be useful is to share information and knowledge with others. That is the reason that I have written this and share information I learn with my coworkers. I like sharing what I learn because it feels good to review it when I share it with others.
Another way is to look at yourself and consider if you are making life better or worse for others. Generally speaking if something is easy to do, you aren’t doing a good job. Now of course there are exceptions, but generally when you are learning, things are difficult and confusing. If you are very clear on what to do, you probably aren’t learning anything and the value of what you know decreases with time. Part of being successful in past jobs has been my willingness to do what was complicated or banal and others didn’t want to do. If you can find a way to make a difficult thing easy, it is so valuable to everyone.
One other way to be useful is to ask people what they need and then find a way to give it to them. Often what people want and what we think they may want are different. I always confirm that what I am working on is what the person wants me to work on. It is very easy to misunderstand others. Once the person says that what I understand is what they want, then I get busy and start working. Don’t assume that you understand something with someone who doesn’t have the same terminology and experience as you.
I like to close the loops. Make sure that you close the loop and once the thing is fixed, go back a few days later and make sure they are happy. Some issues can be complex and a follow up is always appreciated by people.
Look for ways to exceed others expectations. You will enjoy being able to make others lives easier.