Are You a Perfect Employee? 5 Ways You Can Shine in the Workplace
Let’s admit it…we all have good days and bad days. When there are more bad than good, that’s a clear indication that something’s wrong and you need a change. Whether it’s helping people, meeting new people, working on a different project, or changing roles within your company, it’s important to find something that will give you more good days. And when you’re feeling good, it shows in your work. But until you can find that thing that will make you happy, here are five other ways to help you become the model employee.
1. “A spoon full of sugar” can go a long way.
Work and, by extension, life are no Mary Poppins movie, but being pleasant can make all the difference in the world. Sometimes it’s hard to fake it, especially when we don’t feel like a ray of sunshine on the inside, but you’d be surprised by how far it can get you. Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius first said, “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, but make the best of everything they have.” No one wants a debbie on their team. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, it’s as contagious as a yawn.
2. Organization and discipline are key.
Discipline and organization ensure success. If you have a high-demand job, it’s important that you plan out your day, prioritize your work, take notes, and give yourself a timeline to complete tasks. If you work with Microsoft Outlook, set up some task reminders that will automatically pop up, giving you little leeway to forget. If this isn’t possible, set your cell phone to remind you at intervals. “Flag” or “star” important emails that you can’t get to right away, so you’ll remember to address them later.
3. Approach all tasks with an open mind.
As time goes by, we realize that sometimes life can be a revolving door. Everything’s a learning experience if taken from the right perspective, and we may be in the same situations time and time again. Although you might not understand now why a certain task is important, years from now you’ll recognize that you learned something from it. You just have to stay open to receive the lessons. For example, you might not like numbers, but somehow you’re often asked to do mathematical or accounting calculations as part of your job. There’s no backing out of this one, the upside of this equation is that maybe (like me) you can now do your own taxes! Give it a try and who knows what the future holds for you.
4. Use your initiative.
Most forward-thinking organizations thrive on creativity and fresh ideas. Although some of your ideas might get shot down, I strongly believe in using your initiative to make things happen. Don’t be afraid of speaking up, and instead think about how much your idea could help the company, your department, or your team. No matter what your job is, there are always ways that you can improve work systems and boost efficiency. If you know that something has to be done, sometimes you need to use your discretion and just do it.
5. Jack of all trades.
Some of us love job descriptions and will follow it to every bullet point. But sometimes you have go above and beyond your usual duties. Some of the most successful employees are those willing to get their hands dirty when required (so to speak), learn to multitask, and wear many hats. Those who can “man the ship” on their own if required are on the fast-track to climbing the corporate ladder.
Not all of us are cut out for a routine 9-5 job. Maybe you thrive in a more flexible working environment, but you still have to be a standard employee before getting to that point. To get ahead, you have to find a way to stand out. It might not happen overnight, but most times you’ll be rewarded for hard work. It’s important to bear in mind that nothing in life comes easily without effort and sacrifice. There may be several detours and road blocks along the way, but if you stay focused, you’ll eventually get to where you need to go.