Sunday, June 21, 2009


You and you alone control the things that lead to personal success in the workplace Whether you’re working toward a promotion, hoping for a salary increase or bonus, or simply want to be recognized as a valuable member of your company, it’s essential that you fine-tune your skills and form superior work habits Here are some get-ahead basics to help you improve your chances for advancement. 1. Maintain an excellent attendance record. The first step on the ladder of success is reliability. You must be there, serious illness aside. Your manager must know he or she can depend on you. Take steps to solve any problems that cause you to be habitually late or absent. If you can’t solve the problems that cause your absenteeism or tardiness by yourself, tell your manager about them. Perhaps a more flexible working schedule can be arranged to enable you to get to work on time. 2. Leave personal troubles at home. Come to work ready to concentrate on your job. If your mind is elsewhere, you can’t hope to be effective, and you’re likely to make costly errors. 3. Meet deadlines. Deadlines are established for a purpose. Complete a task within a specific time frame and you contributed toward an orderly work flow. Miss your due date and you turn into a bottleneck. If you don’t think you can complete an assignment on time, tell the person who gave you the work. Ask if the deadline can be extended, or if you can get some help to complete the task. But don’t make a habit of it. There’s an old saying that goes, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” Try to be the person that gets those things done – within reason – you will be invaluable to your manager and to your whole company. 4. Listen carefully and follow instructions. Train yourself to listen attentively. Make eye contact with the speaker. Ignore distractions. Concentrate on the new information. Ask questions, remember the answers. Once you master the art of listening, you’ll improve your accuracy, save valuable time, and move ahead quickly. 5. Be cooperative. If your manager asks you to do something that’s not your responsibility, never say “That’s not my job.” You might say something like “Sarah handles that area now. Would you like me to task her to do this for you?” If someone other than your manager or supervisor asks you to help out on a task, be cooperative. If you’re working on another project, check with your manager first before abandoning the work to help out elsewhere. If you are extremely busy and you see someone who is, offer your assistance. Who knows, you may need help sometime. You have nothing to lose, and you gain a good name when you offer your help. 6. Look good and sound good. Dress for the job you want. Look and sound like a professional and you’ll send a positive message to your manager. If you dress casually, switch to tailored clothing. If you speak too softly, learn a more powerful delivery. When the position you want opens up, you’ll look and sound the part. 7. Keep an open mind. Remember that learning new skills offers opportunities for becoming a valuable employee. Keep your mind open to new ideas and techniques, and you’ll keep growing in value and in stature.

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