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Overachiever, Underachiever, What Is Your Future?

August 9, 2021,

Based upon your resume, would you want to join a club that would accept you as a member?


And what type of club would that be exactly? Based upon your resume that is.

If you are graduating from high school, there is nothing that lays your resume record bare more than how the colleges respond to your application.

Mommy and Daddy can’t save you here.

Straight A’s and a sports super star and now you have something.

They are interested in Overachievers.

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In terms of your efforts and personality, would you describe yourself as an underachiever or an overachiever?

Our experience is there is no such thing as a middle achiever. It is not in the dictionary as one word.

Overachievers are individuals who “perform better or achieve more success than expected.”

The implicit presumption is that the “overachiever” is achieving superior results through excessive effort. In a teaching context, an “overachiever” is an educational label applied to students, who perform better than their peers when normalized for the instructor’s perceptions of background, intelligence or talent.

In the workplace context, individuals who are deemed to be overachievers are those with the drive to complete tasks above and beyond expectations and who set very high career goals for themselves.

The opposite term is underachiever.

When going on a job interview, when an employer states, “Tell me about yourself”, what are they really asking?

What have you accomplished above average?

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So often young applicants make the mistake of talking about their personality, which is fine, but rarely can be proven. Even if you bring references, which is good, that can be massaged and fudged.

Your accomplishments can’t be.

You either graduated with a 4.4 GPA or you didn’t.

You either were League MVP in volleyball or you weren’t.

You either finished in the top 10 of your graduating class or you did not.

No massaging there.

Thus, in the very competitive ant hill that we call global civilization, where in some ways we are competing with virtually everyone on it for what we commonly desire, it is far better to be an over achiever.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Some don’t agree.

The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids Hardcover – August 8, 2006

By Alexandra Robbins.

“The bestselling author of Pledged returns with a groundbreaking look at the pressure to achieve faced by America’s teens

In Pledged, Alexandra Robbins followed four college girls to produce a riveting narrative that read like fiction. Now, in The Overachievers, Robbins uses the same captivating style to explore how our high-stakes educational culture has spiraled out of control. During the year of her ten-year reunion, Robbins goes back to her high school, where she follows heart-tuggingly likeable students including “AP” Frank, who grapples with horrifying parental pressure to succeed; Audrey, whose panicked perfectionism overshadows her life; Sam, who worries his years of overachieving will be wasted if he doesn’t attend a name-brand college; Taylor, whose ambition threatens her popular girl status; and The Stealth Overachiever, a mystery junior who flies under the radar.

Robbins tackles teen issues such as intense stress, the student and teacher cheating epidemic, sports rage, parental guilt, the black market for study drugs, and a college admissions process so cutthroat that students are driven to suicide and depression because of a B.

With a compelling mix of fast-paced narrative and fascinating investigative journalism, The Overachievers aims both to calm the admissions frenzy and to expose its escalating dangers.”

Okay. Seems a little extreme.

There are many books on the pitfalls of overachieving.

There should be more books on the pitfalls of underachieving. Should everyone really get a ribbon for just showing up and participating in a project?

You look a little confused. Let’s try and clarify what overachieving means to us.

Over achieving and perfection are not synonymous in our book.

Over achieving should not be extremely stressful. It can be a competitive but very enjoyable process.

From our point of view, how do you know how far you can go if you don’t push yourself as far as you can? Isn’t it great to set goals and then far exceed your expectations?

Here is another view along those lines.

Exceeds Expectations – Take Control of Your Performance Review Paperback – July 20, 2012

by Tricia Berry (Author), Danielle Forget Shield (Author)

“From the 16-year-old wading through a first job to the seasoned executive nearing retirement, we are all continually being evaluated or rated on our performance and our actions.

Exceeds Expectations shows YOU how to drive the performance review process to achieve YOUR vision of success. You can achieve immediate rewards such as performance feedback, enhanced job satisfaction, or a clearer personal vision for success. Or you may receive the bonus, raise or promotion you deserve. When you manage expectations, accomplishments and communication throughout the year, you maximize success in your performance review process.

Exceeds Expectations is a step-by-step process, filled with examples, exercises and personal stories that result in your Performance Review Action Plan. Your personal strategy is designed to guide you to Exceed Expectations in both your performance review and your career. Exceeds Expectations describes a proven method developed by Tricia Berry and Danielle Forget Shield after helping each other evaluate what they suddenly weren’t doing right in their respective workplaces.

After years of Exceeds Expectations on their performance reviews, both were surprised when Needs Improvement and No Information appeared for some of their respective job responsibilities. Quickly realizing what needed to be improved, they joined forces and created a strategic process designed for performance review and career success:

Strategy 1: Understand Job Responsibilities

Strategy 2: Define Goals or Objectives

Strategy 3: Collect and Communicate Accomplishments

Strategy 4: Identify and Address Challenges

Strategy 5: Implement Success Methods After implementing the process described in this book in their own careers, Exceeds Expectations reappeared.

Through 825 Basics, LLC workshops, Tricia and Danielle have helped others embrace the strategic process shared in this book and Exceed Expectations in their performance reviews: “For years books have told me what I should do. This process taught me how to do it!” “Your performance review is your responsibility – this method gives you the tools to take control of it.” Take control of your performance review and Exceed Expectations today!”

We are getting excited just reading that.

Let us ask you a question.

The people who were on the front lines, during the height of the pandemic, working at risk, while many of us were safely working from home, would you describe them as overachievers?

From our view, it can be very dangerous to be an underachiever. You often end up in situations you do not like (like paying rising rents) or jobs that you hate.

In a world filled with over achievers, some of them predatory, shouldn’t you set your goals high, push yourself as far as you can to at least have a chance to compete with them?

So you don’t get eaten alive by them?

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