How’s your work performance at the office or at your place of work? Check out these 10 work habits to see if you’re doing a good job and can expect to get a raise, a promotion or at the very least, a solid recommendation from your superior sometime in your future.
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1. Don’t procrastinate.
When you’ve got a lot of tasks on your plate, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You may wish that you were somewhere else rather than sitting at your desk mulling over what to do next (of course, it’s different when you’re on the field with a more active / outdoor job, but this would have its own set of issues). But try to avoid procrastinating: tackle high priority tasks first. Or you can choose to tackle smaller tasks first, for the psychological boost afforded by quick accomplishments. Use organizational tools (e.g. free online calendars or personal planners along with a notebook) that can keep you focused on your work priorities. Then again, why not stop procrastination by knowing how much it can cost you?
2. Watch your email!
Think before you write and hit that send button! Many job stints have ended because of the tactless use of email. I had a friend who once played a prank on a coworker by pretending he was the CEO. He spoofed the CEO’s email address and sent a silly message to his coworker for fun, but he was eventually caught and tracked down. He almost got fired, but was able to beg hard enough to keep his job. Moral of the story? Be careful what you send out to your colleague(s). Your messages say a lot about you…and email is something you can’t take back once it’s released for the world to see. Here’s an example of poor use of email (you’ll get the gist).
3. Be respectful of your coworkers and colleagues.
You want to be friendly with your coworkers and friends at work, but not TOO friendly. When I was working the 9 to 5 here in Silicon Valley a year or so ago, it was easy to forget this rule, since software companies — especially startups — have a more relaxed atmosphere compared to their larger, more formal counterparts. But your boss is still the boss, and forgetting that they’re your superior and not just your buddy can have unwanted consequences. Don’t forget too, that romance at work can be tricky and complicated, especially when things go wrong.
4. Don’t abuse your work privileges.
Some companies have become more progressive about their policies and have relaxed some rules at work in order to encourage employees to become “happier” or more productive. Telecommuting and casual wear are some of the great perks we get at many job sites these days. Many employers now allow you to work at home some of the time. But it’s important not to push the envelope on these privileges: don’t abuse these benefits by deciding to camp out at home often, by leaving work early or by dressing down for your job. You may gain a reputation that nobody would envy!
5. Know how to network.
Rubbing elbows goes a long way. While socializing and joining team activities help build camaraderie, help develop trust and create a stronger work team, these actions can also raise your visibility within your company. True, lots of us have other lives outside of our jobs, but while you’re at work, doing a little networking can keep you in the boss’ (and company’s) radar. Socializing too much though, can be detrimental, so pace yourself when you’re mingling.
6. Be prompt.
If you’re in the habit of coming into work late, turning in your work late or being tardy for your appointments, you’re bound to aggravate your colleagues. You’ll need to keep your deadlines in order to be considered as trustworthy and reliable, or even “worthy” by your coworkers and managers.
7. Stay positive.
Who wants to work with someone who grumbles and complains all the time? Unfortunately, not all of us have been blessed with sunny dispositions, but you may want to crack a smile once in a while. It’s no coincidence that employees with positive, can-do attitudes and personalities go quite far in their careers.
8. Avoid negative talk about your company.
The online world is a tempting place to air your beef about anything and anyone. But when it comes to your job (this goes for family, friends and most anyone you know as well), you may want to be careful about what you share with others, especially in print. Your words can come back to haunt you, so be careful what you say and write about your boss, company or management.
9. Avoid office drama and heavy politics.
Playing some politics at work may be necessary to advance, but if you get mired in too much drama, it can turn ugly and distracting for you and everyone else around you. You’ll write your ticket out of your department if you decide to play a hard game of politics. I personally detest politics and avoid it like the plague — too much stress! To me, even the promise of advancement at work has never been worth the stress of dealing with office politics.
10. Be flexible and go above and beyond.
When we work hard and go the extra distance, we want to be noticed and eventually rewarded. The reality is that without a little bit of help from the other 9 tips we share here with you, going the extra mile may not be enough. If you’re flexible, wear many hats and offer to do more than your basic job requirements, you’ll still earn a great reputation. But to seal the deal and get the promotion you’re hoping for, don’t forget to network, stay positive and have a pleasant attitude.
The bottom line? Be professional. Great work habits should help you snag a solid performance evaluation and hopefully, a bonus, a raise, or even a promotion afterward!
This article is inspired by this piece, from Careerbuilder.com.