What it means to be “excellent”.

Since I’ve been on the jobhunt for awhile, I’ve realised one of the requirements for every job description I’ve read is to be “excellent”.

  • Excellent computer skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent and confident telephone manner

It’s hard to define excellence, though. What is excellent to me could be terrible to another person.

Here’s the dictionary definition:

excellence |ˈeksələns|


the quality of being outstanding or extremely good: the award for excellence in engineering | a center of academic excellence.

• archaic an outstanding feature or quality.

Sometimes I look at these descriptions and wonder how I can get there someday. If excellence is something I can work towards, then maybe one day I’ll be good enough.

While that may be true, I was recently offered a different perspective.

“Excellence is not a level of perfection we hit. It is your very best right now with what you have.” – Jad Gillies

It hit me then and there that excellence is not necessarily perfection. My editor-in-chief once told me that perfection is overrated, and I never really understood at the time.

If I do my best today, and keep working at my craft, then I’m dedicating myself to improving what I’m passionate about. Perhaps that’s the requirement to becoming excellent at what I do. To simply show up and keep working. Keep writing.

What does excellence mean to you?


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