15 Actionable Steps to Be More Successful at Work
No matter what you do for a living, everyone wants to be more successful at work. Your definition of success could be making more money or getting promoted to a higher position. The key to success at work is developing good habits and getting noticed for the things you’re doing.
When it comes to how to be a good employee at work, some rules cross over into any industry. People who are more successful in their careers usually have many of the same characteristics. There are specific steps you can take every day to make yourself a better employee. If you keep up with those habits, your employer will eventually take notice and reward you for them.
The steps you take to be a better employee should cover both your personal life and your work life. It starts when you’re at home. Forming positive habits at home will carry over into your career.
If it seems like certain employees always get the big breaks and promotions know something you don’t. But, it’s probably because they’ve already developed strong habits to push them ahead. But, these habits and characteristics aren’t big secrets. The more small actions you take toward becoming a better employee, the better.
Table of Contents:
- 1 How to Be Successful at Work Tips
- 1.1 Dress for Success
- 1.2 Get to Know People
- 1.3 Take Action as Often as Possible
- 1.4 Listen to Everyone
- 1.5 Be on Time
- 1.6 Keep Track of What You Do
- 1.7 Pay Attention to How Others are Getting Promoted
- 1.8 Don’t Compare Yourself to Co-Workers
- 1.9 Learn About Other Areas of Business
- 1.10 Focus on Your Natural Strengths
- 1.11 Stay Positive
- 1.12 Don’t Dwell on Mistakes
- 1.13 Take Breaks
- 1.14 Ask for Help
- 1.15 Take Care of Yourself
How to Be Successful at Work Tips
Being more successful at work starts with small changes in your attitude, actions, and your state of mind. If you focus on being the best worker you can be, there’s a good chance your employer will pay attention, and you’ll be recognized with the success you deserve.
Dress for Success
It might seem cliché, but dressing for the job you want is a good rule of thumb whether you’re already employed or seeking a promotion.
Have you ever looked at the people in your place of employment with a higher position than you? Pay attention to the clothes they wear and how they wear them. There’s a good chance they take pride in the way they look and want to appear successful. Clothes themselves can’t bring a person success, but they can put you in the right mindset and boost your confidence.
It’s about much more than just the clothes you wear. Check out those same successful people in your office and pay attention to how they carry themselves. Wearing certain things can give you the confidence to walk with pride and hold your head up high.
Having more confidence when you’re proud of what you’re wearing can encourage you to grab onto more opportunities and get ahead. So, while clothes might not seem like a big deal, it’s worth it to invest some time and money into a wardrobe that makes you feel and look great.
Get to Know People
Being more successful at your job involves getting to know the people who are already there. If your boss isn’t at the top of the food chain in your business, why not get to know the person who is? Attend networking events and company get-togethers as often as possible. The more people you can meet in higher positions, the better.
Also, take the time to learn how they speak. Talking the talk is essential when it comes to presenting yourself as a more successful person. This doesn’t mean you have to mimic people. But, you can use it as a learning experience.
The more time you spend with people who have found success in your business, the more you can learn what it is they do differently. When you get to know them, you can eventually use that to your advantage as you try to move up the career ladder.
Take Action as Often as Possible
Setbacks and roadblocks come into play in every line of business. No matter what you do for a living, you’re going to run into problems now and then. The difference between being more successful and staying in the same position is how you respond to those challenging situations.
When complicated issues arrive, successful people are the ones who take action and take charge while others might sit back. This shows your employer that you’re not only willing to work through a problem, but you’re ready to take on a leadership role.
Businesses continue to grow and thrive thanks to people who aren’t afraid to tackle complicated projects. This isn’t everyone’s instinct, which is what usually sets successful people apart from everyone else. It can take some time getting used to volunteering for different projects or motivating others to work through something hard. But, the more you force yourself to take charge and get things done, the more likely it is your boss will notice.
Listen to Everyone
No matter your current position, make sure you’re actively listening and paying close attention when anyone at work is talking to you. Listening is a strong skill, and something most employers look for when they hire someone new.
Truly listening to someone means more than just hearing what they have to say. By giving someone your undivided attention, it shows you care about their thoughts and opinions, and you’re willing to work with them to get things done.
Strong listeners make strong leaders. Showing someone that you care about what they have to say can go a long way in a business. That’s why the best listeners within a company are usually at higher levels than those who don’t do it well.
Becoming a good listener can take practice. Try to be mindful of what people are saying to you and show them you’re listening by focusing solely on the person speaking to you. Don’t let yourself get distracted by other things during a business conversation.
Be on Time
Showing up to work on time is something that is usually expected of all employees. Being successful at what you do may take extra effort. Not only should you be to work on time, but you should also be early. This starts with forming a routine at home to jumpstart your day.
Not only should you be on time to work itself, but you should also be on time (or early!) to meetings. By doing this, you’ll ensure that you have a seat up front to listen to what your boss has to say. You won’t have to fight for a spot or end up crammed into the back where no one can see you.
Finally, being a little early to work each day can increase your productivity. Once other people start showing up to the office, think about how easy it can be to get distracted. You might start talking to a co-worker or playing around on your phone or computer.
By making a plan to get to work even 30 minutes early, you can have extra time to get essential things done. Those in higher positions might notice how much you’re accomplishing on top of getting there early each day.
Keep Track of What You Do
Even if you do everything right and end up with a dozen successful accomplishments at work, there’s no guarantee your boss will notice. This can be especially true if you work for a bigger company with a lot of employees.
There’s no shame in recording your accomplishments and what you’ve done for the company. In fact, doing so can give you the confidence you might need to task for a better position at work. Successful people aren’t afraid to ask for promotions, raises, etc. when it’s deserved.
If you have proof of the things you’ve done, bring it to your employer’s attention when you feel you’re ready for a higher position.
Pay Attention to How Others are Getting Promoted
Did your co-worker just get promoted to a higher position? Think about what they may have done differently to earn that promotion or pay raise. You can even ask them about some of their keys to success. It’s not always easy to swallow your pride and ask your peers what they do to achieve success, but it can be a big help.
Don’t feel down about your co-worker getting a promotion before you do. Every company has their own scale for promoting people. Even if you’re working hard and doing everything ‘right,’ you have to know what’s most important to the company regarding moving up the ladder. It usually isn’t hard to see a pattern when it comes to who your company is promoting. If you can jump on some of those skills and characteristics, you could be next in line for a promotion, and more success in your career.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Co-Workers
While you can learn from others, you should never compare yourself to the people you work with. Everyone has different skill sets, and you’ll never completely know why someone you work with got a raise, and you didn’t. Worrying too much over it can end up driving you crazy and isn’t productive.
Instead of worrying about how quickly your co-workers are finding success, use all your energy to focus on your own drive. Seeing another employee at your job become more successful shouldn’t cause you to feel bad about yourself. It should prompt you to become more motivated. Don’t compare your skills and work to what they may have done to get a promotion. In fact, you should feel happy for them!
By not dwelling on how well others are doing and instead focusing on yourself, you can stay on the right path toward more success at your job. This mindset takes a lot of patience and discipline, but it’s well worth it.
Learn About Other Areas of Business
No matter the industry you’re in, everyone has their unique job and title. Maybe you work in development, finance, or healthcare. But, there are many different sections to these industries. You can better yourself by learning more about the other jobs that make up the whole of your career.
For example, if you’re a nurse in a hospital, spend some time now and then talking to some of the specialists, doctors, and even the medical assistants. The more you know about what everyone does around you, the better.
It’s also a good idea to introduce yourself to the people in different departments. You’re all working toward a common goal, and you can all make each other better when you work together. That’s much easier to do when you know each other and can comfortably discuss things.
Focus on Your Natural Strengths
Learn new things and improve on things you might not be great at. But, some people can spend so much of their time and energy trying to get better at certain things, that they’re doing themselves a disservice.
Instead of exhausting yourself by trying to get better at your weaknesses, focus more of your time on your strength. This isn’t to say you should ignore the things you’re not great at. But, by strengthening the things you’re already good at, imagine how much more you could do.
We all have different skills and the things you do well probably come naturally to you. By putting more work into your natural strengths, you could be unstoppable in specific areas. That makes you an asset when it comes to certain projects, ideas, etc. So, while learning new skills is essential and can help to keep you well-rounded at work, don’t ignore your strengths. Embrace them and make yourself even stronger.
Believe it or not, your attitude can have a massive impact on your level of success. Everyone has bad days, whether they start at home or work. Try to take your thoughts captive while you’re on the job. In doing so, you can stay focused on what needs to be done.
You might not think a little negativity would hurt anything. But, if you let negative thoughts take over your mind day after day, it can affect your entire life. Your work relationships will suffer, your performance will become weaker, and you won’t get as much done.
While we’re not suggesting, you need to be happy 24/7, pay attention to your daily attitude and take control of it. This is a skill that needs to be practiced again and again. But, once you’ve mastered it, you can always have a positive attitude while at work.
Don’t Dwell on Mistakes
It can be tempting to expect perfection when you’re trying to become more successful or get promoted at work. While you can always strive for perfection, don’t dwell on the bad things when they come. Understand that it’s impossible to get everything right all the time.
If you make a mistake at work, own up to it and let it go. One of the worst things you can do for your self-confidence is to hang onto that mistake after work hours. Chances are, it’s not as bad as you’re making it out to be. If you keep thinking about it, you’ll only make it seem worse in your head.
Mistakes aren’t all that bad. If you mess up and have the right attitude, you can use it as a learning experience. It’s through these mistakes that successful people continue to grow and thrive. Some of the most successful people in the world had significant failures before finding their fortune and fame.
Having your nose to the grindstone all day long can end up doing more harm than good. Everyone can benefit from a little break. It helps you recharge both mentally and physically so you can go back into your work with renewed energy and focus.
Some people have developed different models for work/rest throughout the day. One of the most popular methods is the 45/15 option. Under this rule, you work hard for 45 minutes and take a 15- minute break. During that time, do anything that relaxes and distracts you from work itself. One of the best things you can do is get a little exercise with a walk around the block. Or, meditate for 15 minutes.
When you work for hours on end without taking a break, everything can quickly become a blur, and you could end up being less productive. On top of that, it’s much easier to make mistakes. Give yourself a little time to unwind each hour of the workday. You’ll likely find that not only do you feel better, but you can get more done.
Ask for Help
There is no shame in asking someone for help when you need it. Whether you need more manpower to get a job done, or you need a fresh pair of eyes to look at something, don’t let your pride get in the way of a job well done.
Becoming a success doesn’t happen on your own. If you try to do everything without any help, you’ll never reach your full potential. While the workplace can sometimes seem competitive, understand that you all have the same goals. By working on them together, you can help each other be more successful.
If you adopt an attitude of wanting the best for your co-workers as well as yourself, you can focus on working together as a team and helping each other as needed. That will lead to more success for your company, which means there will be more promotions (and money!) to hand out.
Take Care of Yourself
This might be the last tip on the list, but it’s the most important. Taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally is one of the best ways to get ahead. Don’t let yourself get too stressed over your job.
While it’s good to think about your career, don’t let it take over your entire life to the point where you have nothing else to look forward to. That can set you up for disappointment and will end up affecting your work performance anyway.
By taking good care of yourself inside and out, you’ll always be in the best shape to tackle whatever your career might throw of you. Don’t ignore your well-being to get ahead.
How Do You Become Successful at Work?
Everyone has their definition of success, and everyone reaches it differently. You have to create your own goals and decide what it will take to achieve them. Whether you want more money or more recognition, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. As you can see, most of the tips in this guide are nothing more than simple changes. Or, things you can start implementing into your everyday life.
Being successful in the workplace does start at home. How you take care of yourself and the attitude you have going into work can make a big difference. If you’re looking for a place to start making changes, we would suggest starting with those tips.
It can take practice and patience to become comfortable with some of these suggestions. If they were all easy to master right away, we’d have many more successful people in our lives! But, you can make these changes. Not only will they help to move you up the ladder, but they may also help you to feel better about yourself and the job you do each day.