What does “success at work” mean to you?
For the young, it could mean working for a prestigious company.
For the social butterfly, it could mean being well-liked by your colleague while for the ambitious, it could mean reaching the pinnacle of the career ladder.
Indeed, there is no singular universal way to define success as it carries different meanings to everyone.
For you to get the most out of this article, you should know that the points discussed here will be pivotal to those that sees success at work as excelling at their job and getting to the top of the career ladder
If you feel that your career progression has come to a halt and you find yourself wondering what others are doing right as they continue to climb further, we have specially selected 5 habits which can shed some light in your course of finding success at work.
1) Be Efficient and Effective
The father of management theory, Peter F Drucker said, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things”. The successful professional who finds success at work seeks the most efficient and effective way to accomplishing great work. What this means is that these people do not only work hard, but work smart to get the most out of every work hours that they put in.
Start learning to be more efficient by taking the due diligence to plan and scope out your work instead of diving straight into it. This is especially so when faced with a difficult task. Taking the time to plan would not only provide you with a clearer direction to completing the task but also reduce the total time and effort required by eliminating foreseeable wasteful activities and helping you be prepared for obstacles and challenges that would undoubtedly occur.
Knowing what needs to be done and creating an action plan based on that knowledge then helps you to be more effective in getting the right things done amid the clutter of tasks at work. Thereafter, set the priorities for each task, stick to it and focus task by task. Focus on tasks that you can do especially well and delegate the others if possible.
2) Stop Whining
As Martin Luther King says, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.
When things don’t go their way, the successful professional rarely play the blaming game and instead focus on finding solutions using what limited resources they have to ensure that they still deliver. They focus on the big picture which enables them to see possibilities amidst turmoil and avoid giving in to external pressures and making short-term decisions.
So, when the going gets tough, quit lamenting about it. Learn to see adversity as opportunity to learn, improve and grow to make you a better professional. This change in mentality not only helps you to cope better with uncertainty but it also offers the opportunity for you to stand out and differentiate yourself.
3) Have a Clear Goal (and create your own opportunities)
“Weak men waits for opportunities, strong men make them”. Some of the most successful professionals abide by this saying religiously.
With a clear idea of what they want, successful professionals do not lose track of their goals easily and constantly find ways to get to the next stepping stone which brings them closer to what they set out to achieve.
Avoid simply being the passive onlooker and create your own opportunities by having a clear plan in mind. Stick with what you have planned and be adaptable, creative and forward-looking in identifying and grabbing the right moments within the work arena.
Regardless of what you do in the course of your career, having a clear end goal in mind is key to formulating plans that helps identify opportunities which you would otherwise miss or fail to see when one is not in place.
4) Make Time to Learn
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”. These famous words of Mahatma Gandhi could not be more applicable when it comes to living and working in today's world.
We all share the same 24 hours each day but most of us do not know how to make full use of it. Successful professionals use their time wisely by prioritising their tasks after allocating time for learning. One notable example is Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka Shing - as successful as he is now, he still reads every night before he goes to sleep.
As what the tycoon famously said, knowledge does not necessarily guarantee a life of riches but it does open doors to more opportunities. So, start now by listing down the things you’ve been procrastinating to learn and set time for it.
Find out how you can learn better with our post here on : Learning to learn again
5) Accept Feedback
As Elon Musk mentioned, “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” Successful professionals at work are always looking for ways to better themselves. They are not solely focused on hitting end goals, but also pay attention to tasks that could have been done better or differently to optimize results and overall performance.
They understand that self-assessment of their own work leads to biases which makes them blind to their own shortcomings. With this mentality, they have built on the habit of embracing constructive feedback, positive or otherwise, for it is only through such channels that they can then have an objective assessment of their own work for continuous improvement.
Over time, these small tweaks and adjustments will accumulate and lead to a sustained and improved work performance. With some patience and effort, inculcating the above 5 habits into your daily work routine would definitely reap you incalculable benefits. You will find yourself en route to success in no time!