Our goal is to match employers and applicants to achieve the perfect fit, and we know exactly what employers need and look for. At Express Employment Professionals, we understand the importance of success and productivity in the workplace. Whether you’re shifting your career or looking to move up within your industry, taking a proactive approach to your job can help you fast-track your career.
But with so many areas to consider, trying to determine exactly what to target for improvement can lead to overanalyzing or doing nothing – and that’s not helpful at all. That’s why we’ve put together a list of ten practical tips to help you maximize your success and productivity on the job.
Whether you’ve just started a job or are looking to be a better fit with the job you have, our tips will help you build a strong foundation for a successful career. So if you’re looking to get ahead in your career, we can help: read on!
1. See the Silver Lining
Maintaining a positive attitude makes your coworkers happier, easier to work with, and more likely to go out of their way for you when you need a favor. Avoid complaining as much as possible – if you have a legitimate concern, bring it to the appropriate person, but otherwise, just let it go.
Try to flip complaints into a positive by framing them as opportunities for improvement, which will give you more constructive ways to share them with your colleagues and superiors. A positive attitude can help you build strong working relationships, and increase your ability to handle difficult situations with grace and professionalism.
2. Being Punctual
Being punctual is both a basic requirement and an attribute that’s highly prized by employers. Find out the expectations and rules your employer has, and stick to them like glue to prove to your employer that you’re dependable. Arriving on time and meeting deadlines shows your commitment to your role, your team, and a basic ability to manage your time effectively. This can help you make a positive impression and advance in your career.
Always a few minutes late because of traffic, oversleeping, etc? As legitimate as your reasons may be, employers still need to be able to depend on you. At some point, the only real solution is to plan to get to work early and leave yourself a buffer zone in case you do run into a snag on the way to work.
3. Consider Your Coworkers
Respect for shared workspace and consideration for your colleagues are important aspects of maintaining a professional work environment for everyone in your workspace.
Keep your voice at an appropriate level on the phone and in person, and make the extra effort to go over to your co-workers when you want to have a conversation. This can help you develop closer working relationships, keep you from being annoying, and show your communication skills.
4. Aligning with Company Culture
It’s important to understand and align with the values and culture of your company. Make sure you are familiar with the company’s values and mission statement, and be mindful of them when working on your daily tasks.
Your fit with the company culture and your working relationship with your supervisor or manager are significant factors in your success and your future advancement within the organization.
5. Bite Your Tongue
Gossip can harm your professional reputation and hurt not only your relationships with your coworkers, but even their relationships with each other.
Venting negative feelings about your coworkers, workplace, or boss on social media can also be seen by anyone, and even one unprofessional post could damage your career. Try to keep everything in perspective; having one bad day at work doesn’t mean you should start burning your bridges with coworkers or management.
Be especially conscious of this at company gatherings, and avoid the temptation to overshare information that is not your place to share. Keeping sensitive information to yourself protects the privacy of others and helps you maintain a professional image in the workplace.
6. Be a Team Player
Being a team player is a highly valued trait in the workplace. Focus on the goals of the department or company, and be willing to collaborate and support your colleagues. Putting the team’s goals ahead of your personal goals can help you build strong working relationships, and show your ability to work effectively in a team environment.
7. Meet Your Deadlines
Meeting deadlines is the next level of punctuality, and it’s critical to upgrading your role in the future. The more important your job is, the more critical you have excellent time-management skills.
But real issues do come up, and seeing those delays in advance is also a demonstration of your time management. When you foresee a problem with meeting a deadline, communicate with your boss as far in advance as possible to find a solution. This also gives you an opportunity to show off your problem-solving skills by presenting a possible solution along with the problem.
8. Put the Personal in “Personal Life”
It is important to keep your personal life separate from your work life. This helps you and others stay focused on work when at work, keeping you and your team on task and moving forward. Avoid personal calls and emails during work hours, and keep intimate details of your social life to yourself.
9. Avoid Personal Use of Company Technology
Most companies monitor employee usage of technology to some degree, so it is important to limit your personal use of company-provided technology. Not to mention, staying on-task and focused will increase your productivity and dependability.
Avoid personal emails, text messages, and social media posts as much as possible during work hours, and be mindful of the content of your communications.
10. Take on Extra Responsibilities
There’s something to be said for making yourself indispensable. Volunteering for extra responsibilities is a time-tested way to demonstrate your commitment to your role and your willingness to learn and grow. Volunteer for new projects or challenges, and show your ability to go above and beyond what is expected of you. This can help you stand out and advance in your career.
Continuing to Grow
Implementing these habits isn’t necessarily a one and done kind of thing. A thriving organization is one where its employees are continuously developing, acquiring new skills, and making meaningful contributions to the company’s overarching goals. Maintaining an open line of communication with leadership and coworkers, sharing information, regularly evaluating performance, and rewarding success all play a role in fostering growth and improvement for both individuals and the organization as a whole.
However, it’s much too easy to fall off track when you’re relying only on your own perspective of yourself. Though we often waste time looking for areas of improvement in others, self-reflection is much more constructive.
If you’ve implemented some of these habits but are struggling to identify other areas for growth, take the plunge and seek out honest feedback from a trusted co-worker or your manager. And keep in mind the point is not to hear what you’re doing well, so it’s important to be prepared for criticism (hopefully constructive criticism) since it’s impossible to improve without knowing what you lack.
Feedback is a valuable tool; it doesn’t necessarily reflect on the areas you think you need to improve in, but it will show what people expect of you and how you are measuring up to those expectations. It’s important to receive criticism with an open mind and it’s best to express your desire to work on and put effort into any growth opportunities you’ve received feedback on.
Move Your Career Forward
Express Employment Professionals is committed to matching you with the right people and finding a job you can find productive, lucrative, and fulfilling. Apply today and take the first step toward your new job!