It’s the start of a new year and a perfect time to take stock of the last 12 months, reflect, evaluate and make those ‘resolutions’.
Everyone begins with such good intentions – eat less chocolate, drink more water, do more exercise but before the month is out you’re back to watching entire box sets on Netflix and munching on comfort food because the temperature outside has dropped below freezing!
However, if there is one set of goals you should be striving to stick to, it’s those involving your career. So here's some tips on how to be more productive and get the most out of 2018 career wise.
Learn Something New
It could be as simple as finding out the name of the person who serves your coffee each morning, or what additional training is on offer within your role, or go the whole hog and enrol on a course to speak Japanese…keep learning! Don’t allow yourself to stagnate and fall into a routine rut. ‘Do what you always did, and you’ll get what you always got’ is so true – if you want to be more productive, mix things up a bit!
Improve Your Reputation
One way to gain credibility is by excelling at your job. This will allow you to prove to managers that you’re reliable and a consistent performer, but also by doing what you say you’ll do and getting tasks and projects completed on time, you will win admiration from decision makers and influencers. You could be the nicest or friendliest person in the world, if you don’t finish tasks you’ve been set, your reputation will suffer.
Sometimes, when the pressure is on and you’re struggling to hit a target or deadline it’s tempting to look for a short-cut or quick win. Don’t! Honesty and reliability mean a lot to your manager…and even more to your customers.
Understand Your Company’s Goals
Make sure you understand how your job contributes to your company's business objectives. If you’re not sure…ask! Is your role to generate revenue or to raise brand awareness? Is it your mission to delight the customer? Knowing how your job fits into the bigger picture will give you inspiration and a sense of accomplishment—and will help you appreciate how your performance has an impact on the business as a whole.
Go the Extra Mile
Occasionally think how you can go above and beyond your everyday duties. Are there projects outside your defined role you could help with? Is there a committee or staff group you’re interested in being involved with? Be proactive; ask to join. Alternatively, come up with your own ideas and work with your manager to implement them. This won't go unnoticed.
Get to Know Your Colleagues
Show a genuine interest in the people you work with, and make time to understand other people's roles and how they go about their jobs. You don’t have to be ‘BFFs’ with everyone, but don't just choose a few friends and become part of a clique. You never know when you may need people’s help, opinions or input—or be reporting in to them!
Be an Excellent Communicator
People often bemoan the number of emails they receive each day, but if you're in an email environment, return them promptly, even if it’s just a quick response to say you’ll get back to them as soon as you can! Let people know what you're doing. If you're working on a project, always ask yourself who needs to know about it, and then tell them. Wherever possible, talk to people face to face – especially if the topic is anything less than simple. A quick catch up can save lots of time in the long run as ideas can be discussed and explained – you can also get a much deeper understanding and pick up on all the non-verbal signs too. Oh, and when someone helps you out, be sure to thank them!
Work Hard Play Hard
Work hard, but smile while you're doing it. No one likes a grump. Approach each day with a positive attitude and most importantly try to have some fun. If your working day is eight hours, you're spending a third of every working day in the office, so it’s important to make the most of the situation and enjoy what you’re doing! You really do get out what you put in! Enjoy your family and friends as well. Make time for them—and you.