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So often we get stuck in looking at the day-to-day details of our work that we forget how our individual efforts affect the big picture. Let’s take the work of an office manager for example.

Sending an email to remind employees to enter their time may seem like a task that has little impact, other than the employee avoiding the consequence of not getting paid until the next pay cycle. However, if we step back and evaluate the other processes time entry affects, we might be surprised at how crucial this one task is. Invoicing is based on time entered. If time entered is inaccurate obviously invoicing will be inaccurate. If invoicing is inaccurate accounting will be inaccurate, including cash flow. It also has the potential to affect client relations if the client receiving the invoice has an expectation of “x” number of hours being billed. While not all of our work will have such wide-spread consequences, chances are you make more of an impact than you realize.

It can be a valuable exercise to examine how even just one aspect of your work influences your coworkers and or clients.  In addition to recognizing the importance of these tasks, you may also discover inefficiencies that have crept in or been perpetuated for many years.

Whether you are new in your position or a seasoned veteran, I encourage you to spend some time gaining an understanding (or reminding yourself) of how your work fits in to the big picture. This may require a little digging but might help you gain a greater appreciation for the work you do. And who knows, it might impress your manager to know you have an interest in understanding how everything fits together.

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