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Career Advancement Secrets: The Art of Embracing the Dirty Work

September 20, 2023
be willing to do the dirty work

Be willing to do the dirty work. 

It’s more important than ever to be willing to do the dirty work in business. As my Yorkshire grandfather used to say, “Where there’s muck, there’s brass” – where there’s dirt, there’s money. Doing the dirty work doesn’t mean that you have to be a doormat or a pushover. It simply means that you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do what it takes to succeed. The goal is success, not comfort. 

Why it’s Important to do the Dirty Work 

There are a few reasons why being willing to do the dirty work is important in business. First, it demonstrates humility, a quality in sadly short supply. You’re not afraid to do the work that needs to be done, even if it’s not glamorous or exciting. Second, it “walks the talk” of a team player. Third, it inevitably shows you’re a hard worker, not afraid to put in the time and effort to get the job done. 

Being willing to do the dirty work can also help you to build relationships with your colleagues and your boss. When you’re willing to help out and do whatever needs to be done, people will start to see you as a valuable asset to the team. They’ll be more likely to trust you and rely on you. Everybody wants to lead the band – not too many people are willing to pick up after the concert. Be that person.  

Of course, there are some people who will try to take advantage of your willingness to do the dirty work. They’ll try to get you to do all the work and take all the credit. But you’re not required to be the victim here. If you want to win, be the winner on the inside first. Do the dirty work because you’re a bigger person. You can push back, you can set boundaries.  

Additional Tips for Being Willing to do the Dirty Work in Business 

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help – If you’re struggling with a task, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your colleagues or your boss. Signing up for the tough job doesn’t mean you have to go it alone if things get too deep!
  • Be willing to learn new things – If you’re not sure how to do something, be teachable and curious. There’s no shame in asking for help or taking a class. And maybe you will find a way to make the task easier or turn it around to be a benefit! 
  • Be patient – It takes time to build relationships and to earn trust. Don’t expect people to immediately see your value. Just keep working hard and being willing to do the dirty work. 

No matter where you’re starting from, you can become a valuable asset to your team and to your company. You’ll be more likely to be successful in business and you’ll have more fun along the way.

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