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Design007-Sept2018

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SEPTEMBER 2018 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 45 that they are expecting, they will simply cut you loose. Again, don't be that person. Do your job the best you can. • Go above and beyond what is expected of you: You have the opportunity to show your customers they made a great choice when they hired you. Don't be afraid to go that extra mile and give them more than they expect. Of course, you do have to balance this out with the reality of being paid for your work. You don't want to give away hours of extra work for free, but when you have the chance to take a little time to overachieve, go for it. Be the person that your customers want to continue to work with for a long time. Conclusion Most of us do not build nuclear reactors. However, we can learn from the example set by the DuPont engineers at Hanford and make a commitment to be better employees—con- tractors and part-time or full-time personnel. Not only will this elevate your status in your employer's eyes, but who knows—maybe one day you will get an opportunity to save the day with your extra efforts. It's worth a shot, so go the extra mile. P.S. I really appreciate you all reading my columns. I hope that my musings have been helpful or at least entertaining. I'll be at PCB West this year, so if you're there and see me in the crowd, please say hi. I would love to meet you and find out more about your world. Until next time, keep on designing. DESIGN007 References 1. Preserving the Hanford B-Reactor: A Mon- ument to the Dawn of the Nuclear Age by Rob- ert F. Potter, American Physical Society. 2. B Reactor, Hanford Government. 3. Section 8: B Reactor, National Park Ser- vice. Tim Haag is a PCB design consultant based in Portland, Oregon. To read past columns or contact Haag, click here. they have made. I've experienced this myself with contractors outside of the PCB design industry, such as painters or builders who arrive days or even weeks late with excuses that would make for excellent plot twists in a novel. Don't be that person. When you commit to being somewhere or doing something, make sure you are ready to go ahead of schedule. • Close your mouth and open your ears: I'm always amazed when I work with some- one new in a job and they try to come across as an expert in something they aren't. I realize that the temptation is to try to make a good impression, but doing so when you clearly don't know what you are talking about only makes you look worse. Meanwhile… • Don't be afraid to show your expertise when required: It is likely that you were hired as a contractor because of your expertise in a certain area. When your boss or co-workers look to you for help, this is when you need to shine. However, be cautious of shining so brightly that you blind everyone. You want to be a flashlight that can expertly help others through the darkness as opposed to a flood- light that leaves everyone squinting from too much light. • Don't overcharge: When you bill for the time you've worked, make sure you work more than what you bill. I'm not talking about giving away the farm—just make sure your customers feel like they are getting more than their money's worth. The last thing you want is to become known as the person who cuts out early and isn't worth what they're being paid. It is much better to add a few minutes to your schedule each day so that your customers feel that paying you is a good deal for them. • Do the job right: Thanks for the advice, Dad. I have known people who don't always give their best while at work. This can happen with full-time employment as there are often ways to work the system in order to get away with it. If you've ever read the Dilbert comic strip, you know there are real-life "Wallys" in the work world that always seem to be on a coffee break. This lazy attitude won't work for you as a contractor. If your customer doesn't feel that they are getting the work out of you

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