How to Be An “Insider” at Work

What would it mean for your career if you could be an “insider” in your organization? Would it mean more respect, more fun or more career fulfillment? A recent experience at the W Hotel taught me that we can all be insiders with a change of perspective.

Here’s my conversation with Amy, the front desk clerk at the W Hotel in downtown Atlanta.

Me: “Hello. I have a strange question.”
Amy: “I love those.”
Me: “My son gave me this toy as a memento to take on business trips. I take a picture with it everywhere I go. Can you suggest an interesting place to take a picture?”
Amy: “What about the helicopter pad?”

And that’s how Pablo, the “W Insider,” ended up escorting me to the W’s helicopter pad to take pictures with a remarkable view of downtown as a backdrop. Pablo explained that as the W Insider, his job is to connect the hotel with its passions and provide a great brand experience for guests. He is at a manager level (so people don’t delegate other tasks to him or ask him what he’s doing) and he’s flexible to do almost anything that will improve a guest’s experience. Here are three lessons I learned that can make you more of an “insider” at your own job:

  1. Be responsible for the brand. It may not be your job title, but you are responsible for your company’s brand. People may not remember the advertising or marketing, but they will remember you. You have a chance to make a remarkable impression on everyone you interact with. That will build your brand.
  2. Use what you already have. The helicopter pad was an exotic place for me to take a picture, but it was a standard feature for the hotel. What resources do you already have that you could use to help someone else or build relationships?
  3. Watch what you say. Amy could have responded to me any number of ways. Saying, “I love those” prepared me for a positive experience. You can do the same with your responses and get people ready for a positive experience with you.

Being an insider at your job is more about attitude than title. If you practice those three steps, you’ll feel better about your job, have more fun and have people raving about you. And that’s what being an insider is all about.

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