Everyone wants to be successful, and if you already find yourself working for a company you admire, then you’re off to a great start.
But even if you’ve been with a company for years now and you’re well respected within the office, there’s always room for improvement.
Here’s a breakdown of 3 things to improve on at work, along with some explanations of why they’re important and a few ways in which you can work toward getting better at each of them.
Even if you’re not currently seeking a promotion in the workplace, it’s still important to be seen as an employee with motivation and lofty aspirations.
Don’t just be a cog in the machine, reach out and ask about ways in which you can become an even greater asset to the company.
If you find yourself with a lot of free time at work, offer to help other employees with their current tasks, as long as they’re not confidential.
Your coworkers, as well as your boss, will appreciate the effort and take note of your renewed initiative.
Every employee should have a plan for their career. It doesn’t have to be an especially elaborate plan.
Maybe you’d simply like to work toward a 4-day workweek. Maybe you want to run the company someday. Or maybe you just want to build up a portfolio that will help you take your skills to the freelance market.
Regardless of your specific ambitions, try to draw up a 5-year plan for your professional career. Where would you like to be in 5 years? How much money would you like to be making by then?
Write down your goals and post them at home or somewhere around your desk at work.
Communicating with Your Boss
Communication is essential to any relationship, from personal to professional and everything in between.
Certain supervisors have a talent for communicating with their employees and making it clear what is expected of them on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even a yearly basis.
Unfortunately, some supervisors can get distracted by work and a slew of tasks and consequently fail to communicate effectively with their employees.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, then you should try to meet them halfway and go out of your way to ask what is expected from you in the office.
Immediate Job Performance
When someone has spent a significant amount of time with the same company, working in the same role, it can be easy to let work performance slip, even if only slightly.
Many offices schedule job performance reviews on an annual or biannual basis. These meetings offer a great opportunity for you to get a clear look at how well your recent performance stacks up against your original job description.
Even if your office doesn’t offer performance reviews and your boss hasn’t responded positively to requests for such a review, you can still be a great judge of your own work performance.
Have you been meeting deadlines consistently? Has your work received positive and encouraging comments from coworkers and managers?
How well you organize your workspace and work computer can have a huge impact on how effectively you can complete day-to-day tasks.
Misplacing a single file may not seem terribly important in the moment. But over time, you may need to access that exact file to hand over to another employee.
Not being able to find files can pose a huge threat to your job security.
Just as important is keeping your physical workspace clean and organized. If you’re having trouble getting your space effectively organized, then you may want to read through this helpful article and its many organizational tips.
We also touched on this point in our article on common mistakes to avoid when starting a new job. And it remains one of the most important things you can do to become an asset to your company.
Meeting your deadlines consistently, or even exceeding them by finishing work early, can signal to the entire office that you’re committed to contributing to larger goals.
Most offices provide each new employee with an extensive employee handbook that details the many workplace policies in effect within the company.
These policies can range from job performance to attendance to dress code to allotted time for vacation and sick days.
And while it may seem intimidating and unnecessary, it would be a good idea to go through the entire employee handbook at least once.
Even if you started the job several years ago, try to track down the handbook at home or in your desk. If you can’t find it, just ask your human resources representative for another copy, paper or digital.
Regardless of where exactly you work, attendance is an important part of job performance. After all, you can’t take care of all your tasks if you’re not even in the office.
Missing several days of work also prevents you from staying on top of workplace developments, from current projects and deadlines to personal news from your coworkers.
This is why it’s so important to find out ahead of time how often you’re allowed to take personal days or sick days, and which situations allow for each type of day off.
We’ve all heard the old saying that you shouldn’t dress for the job you have, but for the job you want.
How you present yourself visually in the workplace is a powerful way to communicate your ambitions to others around you.
Dressing up for work is also a great way to increase your own confidence as you go into each workday.
Review the employee handbook for guidelines on how to dress and how not to dress for the office. These rules may seem strict at first, but you’ll soon come to appreciate the emphasis placed on maintaining consistent dress code guidelines.
Take yourself to an upscale clothing store on the weekend, if your budget allows for it. Investing in professional attire is a great way to show everyone that you’re serious about your work.