Career-boosting habits you should adopt today

Published On: December 20, 2016 01:15 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

From entry-level to senior management, most workers have something more they’d like to achieve in their professional lives. But advancing your career doesn’t just mean getting a promotion or switching to another company. Every day, there are simple, little things you can do to improve your productivity, your job satisfaction and your overall standing with your colleagues. Here are eight habits you can start forming today to help your career.

Learn how to listen
There’s a big difference between truly listening to someone and simply waiting to talk. Most people tend to do the latter when they’re pretending to do the former, but if you make the effort to hear, process and respond thoughtfully, your colleagues will take notice. Listen to others as if you’d be quizzed on what they were saying. Listening keenly not only allows you to extract better information, it makes the other person feel heard, which is huge in terms of building relationships. That type of skill, if nurtured and developed early, can be invaluable. 

Double-check and confirm
One of the biggest causes of workplace conflict is unclear expectations, both on the part of managers and employees. If one person gives directions in a vague or confusing way, and/or the other person assumes his or her own interpretation is correct, neither party gets the results and validation it wants. The best way to combat this is to consistently check in about projects to clarify what the other person expects from you or what you need that person to do.

Say ‘thank you’
Gratitude is a very simple but often overlooked tool for building strong relationships, especially in the workplace. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, and making a regular habit of thanking others for their efforts can go a long way. Work is a team sport and there are no solo victories. While most of us expect recognition and gratitude from our boss, give as much recognition to others as you’d like to receive. Be the person who recognizes the wins and actions of others.

Seek out quiet
Today’s workers are always “on.” Even when they’re not physically in the office, people are answering emails, taking work calls and completing tasks at all hours of the day and night. The constant influx of notifications and communication can make your mental space awfully noisy, which can really hurt your focus at work. Implement a daily period of quiet, of meditation or reflection to manage anxiety and stress. Carve out a brief period of time when you can get rid of the static and clear out the mental clutter so that you can focus and get back in the game. 

Embrace positivity
Who would you rather have on your team when a project is going poorly: Someone who tries to stay positive and get back on track, or a person who constantly laments the situation and blames others?

Negativity is one of the worst habits that hold people back, in life and in their careers. Actively working against your inclination to complain when things get tough can really improve your team morale and your standing within the organization. Nobody cares how busy you are, because everyone is busy.

This shows a lack of awareness of other people, and ultimately doesn’t look good. Having a positive attitude and not complaining shows that you’re level-headed and do well under pressure.

Set goals and monitor your progress
Goals are a prerequisite to success. They’re how you define what you’re striving for, what success looks like and how your impact is measured. Before you begin your workday, take a moment to write down and review your short- and long-term goals, and any progress you’ve made on them. 

Be honest with yourself
Taking stock of your strengths and weaknesses and being realistic and honest with yourself about them can help you to do your very best in your current and future roles. This is especially true of your weaknesses. Taking full inventory of what she’s not good at has been much more important than listing what she is good at, because understanding your own skill gaps means you can seek out the right people to complement them.

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