Career Advice

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Career Advice:  Five Secrets to Becoming the Perfect Employee That Everyone Wants – Part One
 

The following are five career development secrets to being the perfect employee everyone wants:
1.         Respect.  Respect others with whom you work everyday.  What is respect?  Respect comes in many different forms. The following are just a few examples:
§       Respect fellow employees as individuals with unique ideas and thoughts that may be different from yours.  This diversity of ideas may seem a little different at first, but that is how we produce better solutions.  “Group think” often gets you nowhere fast.  Embrace diversity of thought so that you are open minded for better solutions.
§       Respect fellow employees by greeting them in the morning.  Many times I hear from employees who say that certain co-workers make it unpleasant in the office because they seldom say “Good Morning” or “Hello,” don’t smile, and are just plain nasty to fellow co-workers.  Take the time to give a pleasant greeting to your co-workers even when you may be having a difficult time.  You will be known as someone who is pleasant to work with, and guess what; more opportunities will come your way.  Also, you can break out of a bad mood and become more productive at work if you are pleasant to others.
§       Respect the work of others.  Appreciate the time and efforts of co-workers and let them know.  You may not agree on the final product, but you can respect the time and effort put into the project.
§       Respect others by practicing the Golden Rule…well sort of.  The Golden Rule states “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Well, there are many people, because of their poor self-esteem, who like to be “dumped on” emotionally and physically.  If we follow the Golden Rule, does that mean that these same people should “dump on” their fellow co-workers?  Of course not!  Treat your co-workers with the utmost respect and appreciation they deserve.
2.         Knowledge.  Knowledge is the key.  The workplace is constantly changing.  Even the look of change is changing.  Also, change is happening faster and faster.  Just look around you in society, work, and technology.  The only way to master change is to gain the knowledge to be ahead of change.
Take the time to learn not only about your present job, but also about your future job opportunities.  This will make you a more valuable employee.  Also, take time to learn about the job that is one level above your present position.  When this position becomes available, you will be in a better position to receive a promotion.
Also take responsibility for your knowledge.  Time and time again I hear the following:

“Well, my company won’t pay for the class, so I’m not going to take the class.”

I say to that, “Find the way to gain the knowledge!”  There are too many educational options not to have the knowledge.  Whether you pay for it yourself, receive online training, volunteer, etc., there are ways to receive knowledge.
Remember, once you receive knowledge it is your knowledge to take anywhere you go in life.
3.         Communication.  Communicate, communicate, and communicate.  Talking is one half of the communication process.  Listening is the other and sometimes the most important part of the communication process.  Listening means being open-mined to new ideas.
Communication also means learning how to give and receive feedback.  Giving feedback means giving feedback that is honest and fair and leaves the person wanting to do better.  Receiving feedback means information given to you, and it may include questions for clarity and understanding about what needs to be done.
Communication is also good follow-up with employees and management.  Do you inform your managers or co-workers about the process or changes in the project on which you are working?  
4.         Appreciation.  Appreciate to motivate others.  Be accountable for your words.  Once you say something, it’s hard to take it back.
Show and give praise to others in the workplace.  Work at finding them doing something good and praise them (Read my article Appreciate to Motivate .).  The more you do this, the more you will tear down barriers and motivate others in the workplace.
5.         Solutions.  Be a solution creator, not a problem dictator.  Anyone can find problems; but the employee who can find a problem or challenge and create a solution is an employee that can write his/her own ticket for success.  Take it upon yourself to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.
Ask yourself these questions:
§         What is the positive that can come out of this challenge?
§         What will I learn from this challenge?
§         What are some solutions I can present?
§         How will I present my solutions so that the organization sees the immediate benefits?
Apply these career development techniques and you, too, will become the perfect employee and enjoy career advancement.
 


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