Turn Yourself into a Valued Employee

In today’s volatile work environment, there are days when you just might question if you’ve made the correct career choice or if your chances of surviving another year are good. There are techniques you can use to enhance your position in the workplace and, at the same time, bring a more enjoyable feeling about being there. Look at your workplace and see how many of these ideas you can implement.

Continuously learn new skills. If you still perform at the same skill level you did a year ago, why should you get a raise? Think about that statement as you evaluate your growth in the last year. Determine what you need to learn to strengthen your job security and skills. Enroll in seminars, college courses, or technical school training. Buy books and read about skills that will help you do a better job. Staying fresh with new knowledge makes work interesting and challenging. It also can add security within your company or add to your job skills should you need to seek work elsewhere.

Learn to work well with your boss. The long and short of it is that you must study his or her personality, expectations and approach to work.  The more you learn about what makes your boss “tick,” the greater your chances of promotion and survival. And, the real benefit is you learn to enjoy working with your boss-a real survival skill.

Don’t bring your work to lunch or to your home. I’m sure many of you will disagree on this point. However, we cannot think about work every minute of our day. We need a break to help us relax and rejuvenate our spirit. Don’t eat your sandwich while reading your department report. Put work issues aside and enjoy your nutrition break. When you leave your office or workplace, start thinking about your family and non-work activities. The constant pressure of work issues can build dangerous stress and potentially create serious health issues. Understand that work will still be there in the morning no matter if you take it home with you. When you are at the office, work. When you leave, forget about it. If you knew you only had one hour to live, I don’t believe you’d ask to take one more look at your latest project.

Avoid the “Bitch Pit.” Every workplace has the complainers who never have anything good to say about their boss or the company. They see nothing beneficial in their career or their lives. They don’t enjoy living! A constant diet of this kind of thinking will affect your own attitude. Stay away from people or environments supporting this kind of thinking and talking. Make your workplace friends the kind of people you enjoy being with-the kind of people who brighten a room when they enter, not when they leave. A positive attitude makes for positive events. Chronic complainers cause cancer of the mind-a deadly disease.

Learn to work well with everyone. You are in control of your thinking therefore how you feel about people you interact with is totally under your control. Be a source of strength to those around you both as a friend and as a co-worker. Be someone that can be depended upon to help and cooperate. You never know when the person next to you might become your boss. Establishing yourself as a team player early in your career is a great dividend builder. Why not take another look at individuals in your workplace that you don’t like or know well? Seek ways to build a stronger relationship and watch what happens.

Help build others. If you are in management, why not do all you can to build the skill level of those who work under your supervision? The stronger your team, the stronger you appear to those evaluating your performance. Share knowledge, responsibilities and opportunities to shine. Let all know you have great workers who can be counted upon to do the job. Building others makes you stronger. That’s just the way it works.

Lastly, cultivate your talents. A point I often make when conducting training or keynoting a conference is that we are happiest when we are maximizing our talents and skills. The happiest worker is one who has the opportunity to display their skills. Is there a skill possessed by your workers that is untapped? Look for ways to incorporate these skills into the workplace. Do the same for yourself. This is the best way I know to make your job a happy one.

Everyone needs to engage in constant improvement to avoid career stagnation. Use your skills to turn into a happy employee and, more importantly, a productive one.

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