How to Excel at Your Job This Year
To quote Oprah Winfrey, "Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do." If you're lucky enough to have a job you love (bravo!), you're probably already excelling at it. But if you're like most of the population, you might not love your office hours all of the time. However, that isn't an excuse to just phone it in. Make it your mission this year to do be the best employee in your office. We've looked to Fast Company for foolproof list of ways to excel in your office environment and get promoted as quickly as possible. Scroll through for our top picks on how to ace your next performance review.
Hark back to your inner child and let your curiosity shine. Asking questions in the workplace shows that you are engaged with your work and committed to the bigger picture. Start by asking open-ended questions like how, what, when, and why. If you're told to start doing something differently, ask your manager for the logic behind that decision. You don't just want to follow orders; you want to understand why your boss gave those orders to begin with.
You aren't born with creative ideas. You think of them. Start actively learning about your industry and other industries that you can learn from. Understand the microenvironment of your company and the competition and use your learned knowledge to brainstorm business opportunities. One of the great ways to come up with a great idea is to pretend as if you are designing the product from scratch, as opposed to building on top of what is already there. For instance, if you feel your company's workflow is highly inefficient, especially in your department, imagine how you would re-engineer it entirely.
Whether or not it's true, organized people come across as more capable than their less organized co-workers. The secret to organization is simplicity. Complicated systems are easy to ignore. Keep your desk clean, simple, and ready for anything.
You should try to be the most liked person in the office. Say nice things about others. Make it a point to never voice negative comments about others, even if they are true. Your friends and loved ones are there for venting, not your co-workers. The more you emulate positivity, the more that reflects positively on you.
Keep your calm, no matter what happens. Even if you're having the worst day imaginable, excuse yourself for a walk to re-center yourself. Maintaining your cool, even if it's just a façade, conveys confidence. You want to appear composed and put-together at all times.
Getting through your to-do list every day may seem impossible, especially if you put every tiny thing that you might need to accomplish on your to-do list. Make sure you prioritize your list and only write down what you must accomplish, then figure out what time of day you perform best for each task. For example, if you need to respond to all of the starred emails in your inbox but tend to lose focus by 4 p.m., make sure you tackle this item first thing in the morning.
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What's one trait you admire about a colleague? Share with us in the comments.