Millions of people have found themselves out of work recently, and now that many businesses are open and hiring again, you need to get back out there in the job market. However, if you were employed at your previous location for a long time, you might be out of practice in terms of applying and interviewing for jobs. You need to reevaluate yourself and find what will make you a valuable employee for the next company you work for. Here are ten tips to make yourself into a valuable employee moving forward in your professional life.
Not all jobs require a formal college education. In fact, many of the best-paying jobs today require a certification from a trade school. However, if you are in a field where you could benefit from a college education, it is almost always in your best interest to get one. Schools, such as Full Sail University, can offer you a chance to learn essential skills no matter what professional field you are a part of. Most employers will not only be more likely to hire you if you have a degree, but they will also be more likely to pay you better.
One of the best attributes to have in a professional environment is timeliness. Timeliness permeates every aspect of your employment and the entire professional world. You should always show up to job interviews at least fifteen minutes early, people always appreciate when you show up to and start meetings in an efficient manner, and no boss appreciates employees who are tardy. Always be on time, but also remember not to show up too early. There is always a healthy middle ground. As a general rule, no more than fifteen or twenty minutes early should suffice.
One of the best ways to convey your sense of professionalism in the workplace is to dress professionally. Get a suit fitted professionally if you can afford it, or you can look for local charities or stores that provide free or cheap professional clothing. Suits are generally suitable for both men and women, but if you identify as a woman and would feel more comfortable in a blouse and skirt, there are typically similar options for those clothes as well. If you find yourself able to afford multiple suits, it is always nice to have more than one for different occasions.
The world of business is all about compromise. It is rare that all parties involved in any professional relationship get what they want all the time. For that reason, it is important to be willing and able to have a flexible schedule. To an extent, you need to cater to the whims of your peers. Try your best to make things work on their timelines as well as yours. However, you have to remember not to become a pushover. Be flexible, but not so flexible that others can push you around without a fight.
Being confident in yourself will not only increase your outlook on yourself, but it will also increase how those around you perceive you. You can increase your confidence in a number of ways. For example, you will be shocked by how the people around you react when you simply alter the way you walk. Walk with long, confident steps with your shoulders back and your head held high while keeping a moderate pace and you will give off an aura of confidence. This is not the only way to increase your confidence, but it is an effective start.
There is an element of selfishness involved in the professional world, however, giving in to that selfishness at all times is not productive. You need to make others feel like they are doing well and that they are equal to you. Not only will this improve the professional relationship between the two of you, but the positive reinforcement can increase the other party's productivity. It can be easy to focus on the negative aspects of other peoples' actions, but that is far less productive. Highlight the good things that your coworkers accomplish and they will be more incentivized to repeat them in the future.
The best employees know that their obligations as an employee go beyond what they are asked to do on the surface level. The best employees take the initiative to go above and beyond what is expected of them. If your boss asks you to complete a given task, complete that task in the most complete way you can, and move on to your next task without having to wait for further instructions. These small bouts of hard work will not go unnoticed by your employer, and you can reap the benefits later.
Setting goals is important on both the individual level and the company-wide level. Individually, it is important to keep the momentum going in your life. You do not want to remain stagnant for too long, or you will grow content and not grow any further. On a broader scale, the company is always looking to advance as well. An employee who can provide ideas and plans of action that a company can use will be more valuable. Make your voice heard within your company and come up with good goals for everyone to work toward.
Companies consistently list good communication skills as the single most important aspect they look for in new employees. In a world increasingly reliant on technology, the ways that people communicate are constantly expanding. It is vital that employees know how to communicate both digitally and traditionally. This includes emails, telephone calls, face-to-face communication, and any new methods of communication that crop up in the coming years. A lack of communication not only leads to shoddy work, but it can also lead to a general sense of frustration with coworkers, which is never helpful or productive in any situation.
Conflict resolution is a necessary skill in almost any environment, not just a professional one. You will inevitably have conflicts with the people you work with, but you cannot let those conflicts interfere with your productivity or strain relations around the office. Therefore, conflict resolution skills will come into play quite often. Talk through each person's viewpoint clearly. Listen to and comprehend one another. Keep a level head and find a compromise whenever possible. Keeping relations civil anytime you are in the office is one of the best skills you can have no matter what you do or where you work.
It is easy to fall into the trap of being an average employee who does nothing more than go through the motions every day without being exceptional. In truth, there is nothing wrong with this mentality. However, if you are a career-focused person who is set on being as successful as possible in life, these tips, as well as any others you may find are your first steps on your way to that dream life. In short, good employees know how to advance themselves and the company they work for in effective and efficient ways that can be appreciated by everyone.
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