Jennifer thought that once she got into a field she enjoyed, her upward mobility would be guaranteed. It wasn’t. Frustrated by the competition in her office, she wondered if all the hard schooling was worth the effort. Things were not working out as she planned and her dreams of owning her own firm someday were quickly crashing.
Worse yet, her first review at work wasn’t good. Her boss said Jennifer lacked a solid work ethic which was holding her back from achieving. While she was capable of the work, she wasn’t giving it her all and the quality of her showed it. Jennifer’s first response was to be defensive and then blame her boss for unreasonable expectations. But after she had some time to consider the points, Jennifer knew she had to change.
The problem was Jennifer didn’t know what to change. So she sought out counseling to improve at work. Here is what she learned.
- Show up early. An old English proverb says, “The early bird catches the worm.” By getting into the office early, any crisis that developed overnight can be handled timely. This is also a good time to manage time wasting emails so the rest of the day can be more productive.
- Stay late. This doesn’t have to be an everyday event, but staying late a few days out of the week on a regular basis is helpful. This shows dedication to work and a willingness to go above and beyond.
- Be consistent. One of the greatest challenges at work is to do a job consistently well. Don’t do some tasks better than others. Strive to do well in all areas of the job’s expectations.
- Be present. Too often work time is used for personal time and personal time is used for work. Having clear lines between the two will keep exhaustion down to a minimum.
- Do more. Take what is expected and do 10% more. This slight amount done over time will greatly increase the overall work product.
- Seek mentoring. In every profession, there are people who have achieved a higher level. Seek out a mentor that is accomplished and willing to share their wisdom.
- Develop relationships. It takes a bit of effort to make relationship with people who might not be within a normal circle of friends. But this is one step that is worth the effort. Having solid relationships with other people at work can be a useful connection later on.
- Be kind. Regardless of the position of a person, be kind to everyone. Nothing gets around an office faster than gossip about unkind behavior.
- Keep learning. There is always something new to learn. Those who succeed look for opportunities for growth and continued education. Consider studying outside of the current area of work to increase future job opportunities.
- Work hard. A hard worker is someone who gives their all. No matter how they feel or what is going on in their personal life, they still give their all at work.
- Work smart. In every job there are opportunities to become an expert in one or two areas. Working smart is narrowing down this focus to become invaluable at work.
- Embrace criticism. Instead of running away from criticism or seeing it as a failure, embrace the critique. Take away one thing that can be improved and concentrate on it until it is mastered.
- Stretch beyond comfort. In every job there are times when opportunities arise that are beyond the normal job opportunities. Stretching past a comfort level demonstrates a willingness to try new things and expand.
- Use humor. Even tense moments can be lightened with a bit of humor. This is not about being the office clown but rather having a bit of levity at work.
- Be patient. Patience is a virtue especially at work. Be patient with self as well as others. Remember everyone has opportunities to learn and develop and not everyone will grow at the same pace.
To get noticed at work, try these 15 suggestions. A strong work effort brings a sense of satisfaction from having performed well. This is the best reward.