It doesn’t matter what we do for work, we always seem to have extra tasks that just don’t quite fit the “job description” we were given. I remember walking in to my first high school gig and sitting down at my desk looking at the finances and thinking “They want me to budget, manage kids, talk to parents, create programs, develop shows...and so on...and so forth” until I ended up looking like this:
At my current job I do ALL KINDS of stuff. From creating book projects, to editing music, to creating social media content, writing music, packing orders, shipping orders, putting office equipment together...you name it!
I learned early on in college to embrace all the EXTRA stuff that I was doing instead of being UPSET at all the EXTRA stuff. Here is why:
“Being Extra” might be bad if you are a teenager, but it’s great if you are an employee.
· Be so extra that you are the first person they think of:
For school directors, becoming “invaluable” is one of the most important tips I can give a green teacher.
Be the only one in the building who can set up sound equipment.
Be the only person who can drop everything on a dime and have the ensemble perform.
Be the person the principal goes to when they need help organizing schedules.
It makes YOU desirable. It also makes you work a bit more, but it’s worth it
Be so extra that you learn everyone else’s job:
When I had to show up to afterschool theater events and run sound & lights for free...I wasn’t always happy about it.
But now I know how to run a soundboard (and more importantly run one while those needing it are horribly unprepared and unrehearsed – looking at you Professional Development Day).
All of these things that you do that seem “outside” your job simply give you more tools in your toolshed. It might not always feel like it’s worth it, but later down the road it might.
Be so extra our attitude changes.
I used “caps” because I yelled this in my head!
An awful lot of directors I meet are nice folks...but man are they grumpy. They got rehearsal tonight, a pep band tomorrow, running sound at the pep rally on Thursday and let’s not even get started about teacher observation this afternoon!
Teachers have a right to be grumpy; they are being asked to do more and more with increasingly less support every day.
However, a little change in how you think about these extra things can go a long way to making you, well, less grumpy.
Be extra until it pays off.
I used to tell my students, “The reason I say yes to all this mess that you have to perform at is because it will pay off down the road”.
Cool Trips (tired of new for a moment)
No one wants to give something to someone who doesn’t bust their tail! So we go the EXTRA mile to set us apart from the other deserving souls.
So...be extra. Be so extra that you are the first name people think of, be so extra you learn how do to everyone else’s job, be so extra that you are opening new doors, and be so extra it makes you happy. If you are extra long enough, it will pay off!