Work-wise, work hard(work habits)
To be a successful professional one needs a little more than just skills and knowledge. Good work ethics and work habits are important factors contributing to an individual’s success.
Habits maketh the man… and good work habits make a successful professional! Successful professionals are a result of intelligence, hard work, and discipline. Discipline in other words – good habits. These habits – whether it is reading, exercising, being ahead of the curve, or being passionate about their work even after decades of experience — define individuals.
Punctuality, speed, accuracy, and accountability are some basic expectations from a professional. Experienced professionals tend to settle into their comfort zones, having developed a sense of familiarity with the work, culture, and people. They know their job well and know how to work around the challenges as they have acquired skills and imbibed them into their work ethic. However, one has to adapt to changing times and work towards innovating their skill set. This has become more crucial than ever before in today’s time.
The scenario in the contemporary workforce is radically different from what it was just a decade ago. The newer entrants into the workforce are still figuring out their work ethics. One can find some common threads of work patterns. As a trainer and a counselor, what strikes one the most is that young professionals don’t know where and how to start imbibing good work ethics. It is crucial to understand that positive work habits help keep you be successful and relevant. A few pointers to get you started :
Staying Updated: Most career aspirants are happy once they get a job, but they tend to forget that it’s just the beginning of their journey.
- To begin with, accept the fact that you need to learn, unlearn and relearn things, irrespective of the sector and designation to sustain competitive advantage.
Take advice, practical lessons, and work ethics from your seniors. Read more about your industry, understand your role, the business process, and competition. Keeping up with the latest technological developments in your industry always helps think out of the box.
Invest in online or part-time courses to enhance your educational qualifications. Take stock of your qualifications every 2 – 3 years to stay relevant and ahead of the curve.
Being Proactive: Taking initiative never goes out of trend. In a way, this means identifying a requirement and doing what needs to be done even if it isn’t exactly a part of your job description.
- Start anticipating what comes [or is expected] next and then be prepared with a necessary action plan.
Start observing and remembering key information. To be able to do this well, it is rather crucial to know your sector, profile, customers, and team very well. Things may not turn out to be right on the first try, but once you start thinking from others’ perspectives, the ability to anticipate and deliver can be developed and enhanced.
Being Organized: In a multitasking work environment, things can easily get chaotic if they’re not planned and organized properly.
- Maintaining a to-do list might sound clichéd, but it is important. It helps stay on top of the tasks at hand, prioritizing multiple tasks and allocating appropriate time and resources to get things done. With a good list, you rely less on your personal memory and end up saving time and energy.
Being organized also helps you keep the required resources at hand; thus becoming a better planner and a more resourceful person.
Being Enthusiastic: Look forward to another day of work – a mindset that will help you outperform yourself. Work is not just a source of income, but also is a source of intellectual satisfaction and gives us a sense of purpose and achievement. Enthusiasm brings positive energy into the work environment.
- Begin your day by saying that this work defines me and creates my identity. This will change your perception of work and its challenges.
Be open to take on responsibility and inspire others too.
Don’t let challenges or setbacks or negative feedback stop you from smiling at work. Instead, use them as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Exceed expectations: Fear of the burden of work and lack of patience prevents people from going beyond what is expected of them.
- Start with being objective about the outcome of your work. Think about different ways of improving by objectively critiquing your own work.
Review your work. Always ask yourself if there is something else that can be added.
Don’t limit yourself. If you feel like you’re reaching a dead-end, take a break, seek help or opinion. Don’t give up.
Integrity: This is more a personality trait, but it drives the way we work. Honoring commitments, being professional, thinking about the organization’s interest, being resourceful are only some of the aspects that are a hallmark of one’s integrity.
- The first step is to take ownership of the tasks and responsibilities assigned to you. Don’t view it as a mere means to earn incentives and appreciation.
One can begin by ‘owning up’ and being accountable for the work undertaken – whether the result is a success or a failure.
Look at the bigger picture and the significance of your contribution to it. Habits help us establish order and allow us to do things automatically. Our habits affect and influence who we are – our thoughts, personality, behavior, and life.
We first make our habits, and then our habits make or break us. The hardest part of changing a past habit is ‘starting’. Changing habits s a matter of patience and strategy. Tackle one habit at a time. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail the first time; just tweak the approach and give it a try again till you succeed. Stay Consistent. Stay ahead!!
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The author is a trained career counselor and runs a training center.
– Suchitra Surve