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4 Ways to Be a Better Employee


May 30, 2013 http://www.southuniversity.edu/whoweare/newsroom/blog/4waystobeabetteremployee

The adjectives one manager uses to describe a perfect employee might be slightly different from those another manager chooses, but there’s no denying that some characteristics are seen as desirable in the workplace. People who display these traits seem to have an easier time finding jobs, move up quicker in organizations, and earn more than their counterparts.

So, pay close attention to the traits that count in your company, and do what you can to improve in those areas. Here are four things you can start doing today that can help to bring positive attention your way.

1. Take initiative.

Employers appreciate employees who aren’t afraid to get the job done. In order to solve problems, these employees are willing to risk failure and mistakes; often, that’s exactly what happens. However, in the quest for solutions, they also stumble onto methods and developments that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

Start by looking for ways to solve problems before you’re asked. You don’t need special skills to be the first person to offer to put your ordinary ones to work.

healthcare or nursing student at work

2. Be confident.

Employers like confidence because it’s a tell-tale sign of former success. It means you’ve learned to trust yourself through proving you can handle your responsibilities. Confident employees tackle their responsibilities without needing someone to hold their hands. It speaks to reliability, determination and work ethic--all qualities that bosses find invaluable.

There’s a distinct difference however between believing in your abilities and believing you are better than other people because of them. Arrogance holds you back at work, and doesn’t impress many people during interviews. 

3. Pay attention to details.

Double-checking to make sure that you have your facts and methods right is an easy way to get a reputation for being reliable. Employers care whether they’re wasting time dealing with problems an employee could have easily prevented the first time around. When it comes to employees who repeatedly overlook details, employers are less enthusiastic in their recommendations and look elsewhere when new opportunities to advance come around.

Most workers get into the habit of assuming they’ve done things correctly. Do the opposite. Double-check your work assuming you might have made a mistake.

4. Eliminate the negativity.

Staying positive and being willing to work when you’re on the clock will make you an immediate resource. If you help the people around you feel motivated, they’ll enjoy being around you. If you’re dragging your feet and holding others back, they’ll hate having to rely on your help.

It can be hard to snap out of a negative attitude, especially if you're dealing with stress in your life outside of your career. Half of the work, however, is just keeping a smile on your face. Studies on facial feedback have suggested that while we often smile because we feel happy, we can also feel happy because we smile.

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