Whether you are currently in your dream job or trying to figure out your next move, there are always things that you can improve. When it comes to work, even simple changes can make a big difference in how you are perceived. If you’re committed to boosting your career success in the new year, here are seven habits to start practicing now.
7 Habits to Improve Your Career in 2021
Solve Problems, Don’t Complain About Them
Nobody likes a whiner. If you have a legitimate complaint about something going on at work, approach your supervisor with ideas about how to fix it. Learn to take constructive criticism and how to present your feedback in a helpful way.
Request and Offer Help
You may feel like you have something to prove at work, which can make it difficult to admit you need help. But the reality is that the strongest employees and managers know they can’t do it all. Reaching out for assistance shows that you have a clear understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as of what’s required for the job.
Be sure to offer assistance as well. Not everyone is comfortable asking for what they need. Leaving a coworker to struggle is unprofessional and mean-spirited, so feel free to extend a hand.
Don’t forget about the basics of professionalism in the workplace. Go to work when you’re scheduled unless you are sick. Show up on time. Put your phone away. Never say that something is “not my job.” Leave your personal problems at home. Familiarize yourself with company policies and be sure to follow them at all times.
Add a Buffer
Industrial engineers and efficiency experts say that you should never plan more than 80% of someone’s day. The other 20% needs to be available for such mundane tasks as bathroom breaks, as well as whatever emergency tasks might pop up. Adding a buffer can help you make the most of every day. Leave extra time for your commute. Prepare in advance. Keep your workspace organized and expect the unexpected.
Go the Extra Mile
While you shouldn’t become a workplace martyr, going the extra mile will get you noticed. Learn things that are beyond your job description. Take on some extra responsibilities. If you can, go in when your boss calls on your day off.
A positive attitude attracts people. Even when you have a rough day, strive the find the good. Be kind to those around you. Avoid getting sucked into office watercooler gripe sessions, which can easily devolve into gossip.
Practice Your Listening Skills
Active listening is one of the best soft skills you can have. Seek to understand. Ask clarifying questions. Try to find common ground. Assume good intentions, and work to defuse conflict.