The following are five career advice secrets for being the perfect, motivated employee that everyone wants on their team, putting your career on the fast track, and creating great relationship with management:
1. Be Enthusiastic
Be known as an employee who has a great attitude and is enthusiastic about his/her job and work. Enthusiasm is contagious and spreads quickly in the workplace. Just the opposite, constantly whining and complaining deplete valuable resources of energy in the workplace. Think of people you know at work and ask the following questions:
* Who energizes me at work? Who has a can do attitude?
* Who drains the energy out of the day? Whom do I hate to see come through the door in the morning?
* How do my co-workers and managers see me?
Positive and negative employees, when presented with the same situation, have two different ways of handling the situation. The positive employee looks for the positive solutions. The positive employee is a proactive person who looks at change and challenges as opportunities to grow and develop new skills. The negative person looks at the same situations as being taken advantage of and has the “why is this happening to me” attitude. The negative employee tends to gossip and participate in unhealthy competition. Obviously, management feels more confident with the positive, enthusiastic employee with the “can do” attitude. Be known as the positive employee who creates solutions.
2. Know Management
You will avoid career landmines and be favored by management by taking the time to “manage your manager.” Find out and understand your manager’s strengths and weaknesses, priorities and communication style, and how he/she manages people.
When I was rising up the corporate ranks, I worked for a vice president who was uncomfortable speaking in front of a group of people. Whenever he had a department meeting, you could always see he was nervous and tense, especially when he had to persuade us to accept a very challenging situation. There would always be a team member who would challenge this vice president in front of the group. To say the least, this did not go well for the employee who challenged him. However, I recognized the vice president’s weakness, never questioned him in public, and waited until the meeting was over and went to his office to discuss the challenging situations of the day. Behind our closed-door discussions, this same vice president was very open, conversational, and confident. We were able to create solutions for the company and when it came time for promotion to vice president, my name was at the top of the list.
Remember, to get what you want in your career, you must help your manager succeed. Focus on what is important to your manager and provide the solution. If customer service is important, speak with your manager in terms of creating customer solutions. If your manager is a numbers person, quantify all your results, etc.
3. Walk the Talk
Show integrity in everything you do at work. Be the employee that management can depend on to get things done. When you prove you are an employee who consistently delivers on his/her promises, this will impress management and you will go to the top of the list for choice assignments and promotions. If you are someone who is known as undependable, you will lose the respect of management, and your opportunities for promotions will decrease.
Also, the employee with integrity owes up to his/her mistakes. The employee that doesn’t have the courage to own up to his or her mistakes and take responsibility is very frustrating for managers. If you make a mistake, do the following:
* Own it
* Apologize for it
* Explain what you learned from the mistake
* Ask your manager for input
* Tell what actions you will take in the future so the mistake won’t happen again
This benefits you because it shows you have integrity, you take ownership for your actions, you can learn from challenges and mistakes, and you are developing a relationship with your manager by asking for input and assistance.
Last, but not least, integrity is also not taking credit for someone else’s work. Take credit for your own work and acknowledge others for their accomplishments. Fellow employees have a long memory, and you may need these same people when it comes time for a promotion.
4. Take Risks and Grow Rich
There are employees who do a good job everyday and do not advance in their careers. The employees who stretch themselves and their abilities are the ones who advance in their careers. Risk takers are comfortable with the challenges of taking the risk and know how to adapt to job situations when they arise. They also know that there may be some challenges that they may not accomplish the first time. However, they will take responsibility for the results, learn from these challenges, and prosper in future opportunities.
The following are some ways to take risks and grow rich:
* Volunteer for high exposure, high risk projects
* Get agreement and an understanding as to the resources needed to succeed
* Combine questions with solutions in meetings
* Actively find work challenges and provide solutions
5. Be the Team Player
Managers look for employees who are not only talented, but work to make the entire team better. Team players work well with other team members and support them emotionally. Team members are proactive about pitching in when and where needed.
They also understand what the team mission is and work with other team members to accomplish its goals and values. Because of this understanding, team players are competitive for the team not within the team.
When it comes to your career, talent helps but is not the sole factor for success. Take time to apply these five career advice secrets and you too will be the perfect employee everyone wants on their team.