Most of us want to be good employees — and most of us want to excel at our jobs. To be a successful employee and excel at work is not simply a matter of being good at what you do. Being a successful employee involves issues such as professionalism, attitude, and teamwork — all of which is the thrust of this article.
Here is a list of the best tips for how to excel in your job at work.
- Learn how to perform your job well. There’s a big difference between just doing your job and doing your job well — and with pride. Making the extra effort, racketing up your game a notch or two, and taking steps to fill any voids in your work will all help you shine in your job.
- Assess your work results as objective as possible. Having a clear idea about your job performance is the first step in excelling at work. Becoming a workaholic is probably something that should be avoided. The right balance in your career and personal life is a key for happiness, so achieving the state of equilibrium is a must. Once you have the right amount of time dedicated to your work, improving productivity and being effective is a whole new topic.
- Act professionally while working. No matter what kind of job, it’s important to be serious and focused on what you do — and act professionally in all situations. There’s a time and place for fooling around, and it is not the workplace. Professionals follow the rules and are courteous, friendly, and tactful. Acting professionally also means dressing appropriately for your job.
- Work hard. It used to be that just showing up for work was enough to get by in some companies, but those days are long gone. Today, you not only have to show up and be at your job the full day (arriving on time and not leaving early), but also put in a full day of work. Keep your personal calls, emails, texts, and the like to a minimum.
- Show a positive attitude. By no means should you be that quiet guy that agrees with everyone and just nods approval to whatever he hears. Demonstrating some professional integrity is a must from time to time. However, when there is work efforts made by others that you disagree with, showing a positive attitude and a good team spirit is even more preferred. You don’t have to be “Cheerful Sally” — in fact, don’t be or you might not be taken seriously — but having a positive and go-get’em disposition is important. People like working with, and helping, co-workers with a positive attitude. People with negative attitudes — “Debbie Downer” — drag everyone around them down.
- Be a good team player. Be aware of your bad temper, in case you have one, and work on toning it down while working in a team. You can be the best employee in the world but if you just keep clashing and arguing with other team members, your contribution to the team might come in jeopardy. Work on your interpersonal skills!
- Take initiative. You may be very good at your job — and that is important — but do you ever try to push the limits of your work? In other words, do you ever consider better ways you could do your job, or better ways your department could work, and make suggestions to your boss? Just do not confuse taking initiative with knowing it all.
- Stand out!. Show yourself as indispensable in your company by the quality of your results and the speed of your work. Don’t just stand out by being the loudest guy in the office. Make your everyday work results speak for themselves.
- Cultivate relationships. Having workplace friendships with some of the folks who work with or near you is usually a positive element in job satisfaction — which should result in greater motivation to perform your job to the best of your abilities. Just be sure you make friends with positive people who, like you, are focused on excelling at their work.
- Take (constructive) criticism gracefully. One of the hardest things for all of us to learn is how to handle constructive criticism — and how to use these critiques to improve our performance on the job. Yes, some bosses are truly nit-pickers, wanting everything done their way or not at all, but most bosses are simply providing feedback so you can perform your job better… so you can excel at your work.
- Take opportunities to learn new skills, jobs. The longer we work at one job, the more likely we’ll get bored with it — perhaps just going through the motions — until we are no longer excelling in our jobs. One way around this problem is taking opportunities for additional educational and training when your employer offers them.
- Understand your employer. Some people work at their jobs for years without really knowing or understanding their employer. Taking the time to understand the organization’s mission, goals, strategies, and products/services will help you better understand your role within it — and the value of the job you provide. Try to understand him better when he makes a request and analyse his attitude towards your colleagues. What are those qualities that your employer likes and respects? Could you sometimes anticipate some of the requests coming at your direction from your boss?
- Do not be part of a problem, be part of a solution. Don’t be the worker everyone hates — the one who is always quick to point out the problems, while offering no solutions. Instead, when possible, strive to be a problem-solver. Problem-solvers are a valuable commodity in every workplace. Avoid conflicting situations with other team members even if there is someone annoying you SO much that you just can’t stand working with him. Do not engage into arguing with such people too often, although sometimes you probably need to demonstrate your integrity. Show yourself as part of a solution and money making team for your boss. He will love you for that.
Final Thoughts on Excelling at Work
For most of us, it’s important to strive to be the best worker we can be — to excel at our jobs. It’s not necessarily about impressing the bosses and obtaining a promotion (though you may desire that down the road) — it’s more about having a sense of accomplishment for a job well done.
Finally, remember that when you are the person that’s new to the job — or learning a new task — it’s always better to ask questions (even repeating the same ones until you fully understand the answer) than to proceed blindly and stumble so badly that you have no chance of recovering.