All of us definitely aspire and work towards being role model employees — and all of us want to excel at our jobs. However, being an expert in what you do is not enough to be a successful employee. A lot of other skills such as attitude, professionalism, team work etc. also define your success in your career.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs
All of us definitely aspire and work towards being role model employees — and all of us want to excel at our jobs. However, being an expert in what you do is not enough to be a successful employee. A lot of other skills such as attitude, professionalism, team work etc. also define your success in your career. The term ‘job security’ is almost non-existent in today’s fast-paced world. You need to be proactive and able to identify the right career. It does not just stop there. With turbulent economic conditions and other uncertainties, you have to be smart and put in place a career plan that will eventually lead you to success.
Here are some tips to excel in your career:
1. Know your goal & be focused
Successful people are the ones who are happy with their jobs and have clarity on what they want from work. They identify their goals and chart out a plan to accomplish the goals. To effectively achieve their goals, successful people also put in place a timeline with expected milestones to help them work towards it.
“To begin with, put in place a plan for the next five years, writing down what you want to have, where you want to be, and the goals you want to achieve. Such a plan may give you the feeling that your goals are far off, but do not be discouraged. It is a good practice to regularly evaluate your progress based on the milestones you have set. This will help you get closer to your goals,” says Lalitha M Shetty, Director-Human Resources, Omega Healthcare Management Services Pvt Ltd.
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2. Expand your knowledge and skills
Professional life is different from college and yet, one has to be willing to learn continuously. ‘Up-skilling’ will be the key to success. It is important you expand your knowledge and skills in areas that are relevant and critical to your organization. For getting ahead, you should keep up with the current industry news, apart from paying attention to trends outside your area of specialization.
“With the advancement of technology and other environmental forces changing rapidly, it is imperative for you to build on your skillset not only to perform your job, but also to stay relevant and marketable. It doesn’t have to be a master’s level qualification, a specific short course may also be useful to enhance your skills and diversify into new areas. Demonstrate commitment to your own professional development. By showing the motivation and willingness to continually learn, you’ll find opportunities to develop your skills and grow in your career. Make sure people within your organization know when you have qualified,” says Shetty.
3. Be Confident
One can never go wrong with confidence. It is the one factor that is quintessential to be successful and move forward in your career. In any line of work confidence is required to demonstrate that you are an expert in what you do. Never doubt your own capabilities. In case of doubts, it is good to consult your manager or teammates and take support and guidance. Self-confidence is essential for you to move higher up in your confidence and let your managers know that you are capable of executing bigger tasks and accepting more responsibilities. While being confident is good, never display a sense of arrogance. It can result in a setback in your career path.
4. Willingly accept and ask for additional responsibilities
Your willingness to take up additional responsibilities shows your interest and desire to help your department and organization to succeed. This will increase your value in the organization, as it will help showcase your talents and skillset that are a value add to the organization.
When there are days where your workload is less and you think you can take on additional work, it is good to reach out and offer assistance. This way the management is aware of the fact that you are ready to take on additional work and are capable of handling higher responsibilities as well. “Can I help in any way?” is sure to also demonstrate your role as a great team player. Be on the constant look for any additional opportunities and when you can, take on extra tasks.
5. Have positive relationship with your manager
For succeeding in your career, having a positive relationship with your manager or boss is very important. Catch up regularly with your boss and talk about your career path and development. Focus on near-term objectives and make plans to achieve them. “Let your boss know that you want to find out how you can be more effective at work. Seek honest feedback from her/him on how you match up to higher levels within your company. You may need to learn to take a more strategic rather than tactical view of your organization. Keep your manager informed all the time as he is your first point of contact in your organisation. Make sure you document all your achievements and send your boss a summary each month. If you have people who work for you, give your boss an update on their successes as well,” informs Shetty.
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6. Act Professionally
No matter what your job is, being professional in all situations is important. A thorough professional follows the rules and is courteous, friendly, and tactful. Do not engage in unnecessary office politics and gossip, which could even cost you your job. Adhere to your organization’s corporate values and ethics. You also need a lot of people skills for being a good professional. Make sure you are sociable, get along with other employees and attend other work functions too. While doing all these, be at your best behavior at all times. Following work etiquette is also an essential part of being professional. This also includes dressing professionally to work. Dress for the job you want and avoid casuals as much as you can.
7. Build your network & be popular
To be successful, one should master the art of building strong relationships at work. Building a strong relationship doesn’t just mean friendship—it means building a bond of trust and respect. “While some people may find this to be a very difficult task, for some people, it does always pay off. You might be an excellent performer, yet likeability and trust could be the key factors that determine your success at work.
Therefore, be sociable. Success at workplace can never be achieved all alone. Connecting with people at your workplace will put you in touch with people who share the same career path and goal as you. This will help generate new ideas and new thought processes that could help you innovate in achieving your goals,” informs Shetty.
8. Take Initiatives & create your own opportunities
Being good at your job is important. What’s different with successful people is their drive to push the limits of their work. Careers today can be highly demanding, with requirements increasing every day. While you may possess the required qualifications and experience for your current role, what will certainly help you progress your career is your ability to take new initiatives, generate fresh ideas, take on new additional projects, come up with new solutions and help identify prospective opportunities for the business.
One needs to have an eye for detail and be on the lookout for relevant opportunities. An opportunity could be in you figuring out an innovative way to do an existing job, or even identify a new position. Approach the management and discuss the possibility of creating this new position and present yourself to be a potential candidate. These proactive steps can help you excel in your career.
9. Get a mentor
It is always good to look for mentors who will support you in building and developing your career path. A mentor could help you build on your skills and expertise required to move to the next level. “A senior person who has been in the organization for long would be in a better position to guide you. Mentors can be your window to learning more about the organization and understanding its business. Finding a mentor will also help identify the right opportunities for you within the organization based on your talent and capabilities, suiting your career aspirations,” says Shetty.
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10. Be yourself & express positive attitude
The most important of all is to be your true self. Do your work with dedication, enjoy it and be passionate about it. Happiness is key to performing at your best of abilities at work. You don’t need to self-promote yourself to get noticed. You can build a positive work culture around you with the help of a positive attitude. Stay committed to your work displaying competence, diligence, intelligence, loyalty. Take pride in the job that you do. Only when you are your true self will you be able to culturally align yourself within an organization. Your work should be a reflection of your values, and such employees who take a personal interest in their work are the ones who are trusted with positions of responsibility.
Also, surround yourself with “can-do” people. The type of people you surround yourself with can greatly impact your success. It can either enhance your chance for success and may even enhance your ambition and creativity. You become what you think. A positive mentality with a thought process channelized towards achieving success will certainly help you get there.
Excelling in your career also requires a certain amount of investment, planning and perseverance to stick to the plan. A clear goal with a focused plan can help you stand apart as a successful individual in the industry. Invest in yourself and pave your way to success.