When you finally begin your career by landing your first job, or any subsequent position after that for that matter, it is important you thrive in that position, getting the most out of it while positively impacting your co-workers and supervisors. The following tips will help you start your career off right and can even help you climb the ladder to higher positions just by making an emphatic impression on others while you work. While these tips are specifically meant to aid in the growth of the career you are already in, they can also guide you when you are looking for a job or career simply by using the basic principles discussed below.
Hard work AND quality work
One of the most common strengths people say they have when prompted by others is, “I am a hard worker.” So why, then, would we include this in an article about standing out and being unique? Well, that’s because working hard is so important, and some people struggle to make the distinction between working hard and putting in quality work. Doing both is critical for success in any career. This tip may seem obvious, and may be easy to overlook, but working diligently while also paying close attention to detail to ensure your project is done quickly and precisely can make all the difference. Working hard and putting in quality work is the foundation you lay in order to climb up the ladder at your workplace. By showing you are capable of working both hard and precise, you set yourself apart from those who struggle to make that distinction, which gives you the edge in promotion opportunities and advancement.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” – Tim Notke, high school basketball coach
This is another trait that seems obvious, but can go a long way. Having a positive attitude not only helps you thrive in your career, but it makes an enormous impact on those around you. This, in turn, boosts the overall morale of the workplace and increases production to boot. Part of maintaining a positive attitude in the workplace is the lack of complaining. We all have days that seem as if we run into an endless stream of misfortune, but it is important to keep your head held high (or at least the appearance of such) and keep pushing on until days end. Your superiors will definitely notice a positive attitude, putting yourself ahead of the rest for opportunities down the road.
Being proactive is possibly the fastest way to ensure you climb the corporate ladder quickly. Volunteering for projects, whether wanted or unwanted by the rest of the team, is easily seen by your superiors and will earn you bonus points when you are looking to advance your career. Of course you want to then follow through on the projects by doing a good job (referring to tip number one), but being proactive is the most easily detectable trait you can possess to help you stand out amongst your peers.
Take constructive criticism and use it
The ability to see flaws in your own work as pointed out by others is easier said than done, but if you are able to push your ego aside and focus on making changes to your work through the constructive criticism you receive, it could pay dividends in the future. Whether the work you do includes following concrete, step-by-step instructions or is a subjective process, it is important to be able to show the willingness to adapt to your supervisor’s standards and preferences. By showing you have the capability of adopting change, you will set yourself up for success and separate yourself from other workers.
Every job and career comes with a certain learning curve that everyone must experience before they get in a comfortable groove. With that learning curve present, it is important that you ask questions instead of staying silent, sitting idly by and trying to guess what to do next. Asking your superiors questions will show initiative and willingness to learn the process. This will point to signs of longevity within the company, showcasing your dedication. This will ultimately help you get a leg up on the competition when looking for advancement or other career opportunities in the future.
Bring solutions and present examples
While asking plenty of questions shows initiative, you don’t want to just bring problems to the table, but rather solutions as well. While offering solutions to problems the team may have on specific projects, it is also critical to present examples that will help show the team how these solutions can be implemented and how they can be effective. This shows you are able to communicate effectively with the team, demonstrating the teamwork your superiors were looking for when they hired you.
After you have been in a position for a while, it is easy to grow content and get stagnant in your career. To avoid this, it is crucial to continue learning. Continuing education can come in many forms, including conferences, keeping up-to-date on trends in the industry, reading various literature that applies to your career, or even watching video tutorials on various processes pertaining to your work. Again, this shows great initiative and a willingness to commit long-term to your career.
While this list is fairly basic, it will give you solid guidelines to help you go above and beyond in your work, creating stability within the workforce and opportunities for advancement. By honing your skills on these seven aspects of your career, you can be sure to stand out amongst your co-workers, giving you endless possibilities in the future.