1. They keep learning
No matter how senior you are, always remember that being humble is key when you’re at work. So even if you’ve been in the industry for 10 years and feel like you know the ropes, there’s still so much more you can learn.
The world is constantly changing and evolving, and you should evolve with it. This is a critical element, no matter what field you’re in. If you’re an entrepreneur, you constantly need to be in the know of new experiences, ideas and skills. If you’re a teacher, you always need to discover new and better ways to communicate to your students.
Tip: One way to keep learning is to always ask for feedback from the people you work with. Or go for courses to constantly keep up to date on interpersonal and leadership skills, on top of your technical know-how. Travel more to gain fresh perspectives. Remember, lifelong learning is a key to success.
2. They think of solutions instead of focusing on problems
This short and sweet tip is more of a mindset. Instead of running to your boss with every sort of problem imaginable and expecting them to come up with a solution for you, have some solutions at hand. They might not automatically solve the issue but your boss will appreciate the effort you took.
When you get hung up on problems, you get stressed, anxious and negative which can adversely impact your health. Turn that around and put your attention on solutions instead.
Have a micromanager of a boss? Preempt that by updating him/her constantly. Have an unbearable workload? Have a calm talk with your boss on what you can manage and suggest ways to work around it.
Once you’ve turned this into a habit, you will subconsciously have the confidence to overcome all hurdles because you are excited by them (and the possibility of conquering them), rather than feel demoralised.
3. They know what distracts them
One surefire way to make you more aware of your daily distractions is to record what you spend your hours on each day.
How long do you “unwind” on Netflix every night or every week? Or on mobile games? Or just mindlessly scrolling through the Internet? These hours could be spent on something else, such as making your goals come true or learning another skill.
Make sure that you are aware of your actions at every moment, and if you find yourself spending way too much of your day on something unproductive, curb that behaviour and redirect it to something else. Unwinding is fine but it’s wise not to overdo it.
4. They surround themselves with “can-do” people
Once again, this is about cultivating a positive mindset by creating a conducive environment. When you surround yourself with people who stimulate your ambition and creativity, you are on the right path.
The will to succeed is contagious. Be the one who receives and who spreads it. It goes without saying that you should avoid negative, toxic people as far as possible.
5. They build a professional resume and profile
Your resume and profile is for others to see what you’re good at, what you have achieved, and how you can help them. Opportunities knock when they see the right door.
Besides, having a good resume and profile helps yourself keep track of how you’re doing, and gives you a sense of identity, should you need it.
6. They raise their standards
Your standards determine your attitude, and your attitude determines your actions. Once you set high standards, you will naturally see more success because you are seldom satisfied and are always aiming higher. Test your limits and you will break it.
7. They're not afraid to network
Not everyone likes networking, but it sure is helpful because you get to use other people’s assets (from connections to power to money to knowledge and more) to your advantage. Of course, you try to return the favour by providing something of value.
One easy way to get connected, if you don’t like attending events in person, is to create a LinkedIn account, on which you get exposed to people in and out of your industry.
8. They learn the art of communicating well
Whether you’re the boss or an employee or somewhere in between, you can make everyone’s jobs easier by communicating well.
Instead of passive aggressively dropping hints at your boss, try to communicate more effectively with him or her whenever you’re encountering a problem at work.
Let people know what’s on your mind — from the bigger picture to relevant micro actions. This allows everyone to be on the same page and allows trust to be built because it shows you care enough to keep them in the loop.
9. They are empathetic
When someone makes a mistake or does something that annoys you, hold your judgment. Put yourself in their shoes and ask if this is a plausible mistake. This applies to both your boss and subordinates.
When you identify why they made the mistake you can help them correct it better. It also lets them know you are reasonable and not easily ticked off, and this will earn their respect and friendship.
10. They keep a positive work attitude
No matter how mundane or tedious a particular task is, if there’s one thing we know bosses like, it’s an employee with an incredible work attitude.
This stems from having faith in your abilities, especially when you are trying to build something from scratch. There may not be clear answers, and when faced with problems such as depleting cash flow or a lack in manpower, it can be easy to start doubting everything. If you truly believe in what you do and its impact, then there is nothing to worry about.
Take these wise words from the co-founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma: “Today is complicated and you suffer, tomorrow is going to be worse, but after tomorrow everything is going to be great.”
Keep your eyes on your goals and take actions to achieve them, rather than waste time overthinking things.
READ MORE: “Self-Belief Fuels My Success”: Jaelle Ang Recalls Her Light Bulb Moment
11. They look for good mentors
A good mentor is someone who can teach you compassion and skills. In other words, he or she can make you a better human being. Find someone whom you look up to and who is willing to review your actions and accomplishments regularly.
Having someone you admire also gives you a worthy benchmark to work towards to, so make sure he or she has values you want to have.
12. They don't overshare
As an employee, it’s always best to keep a level of privacy and prevent too oversharing with your boss.
No matter how much they share about their lives with you, avoid sharing yours back. This applies to your colleagues as well. You’ll never be entirely sure if your super competitive colleague will use such sensitive information you’ve shared as ammunition to undermine your abilities at work.
13. They are proactive
Anticipating what a situation or problem at work and finding ways you can improve the workplace and the work environment is a great skill to have, and highly sought after. It helps you navigate potential pitfalls better too.
For example, if you’ve found a more efficient way of submitting reports or anything that could help better the work flow in the office, be sure to speak up.
Doing so will easily help you stand out from everyone else in the office and we trust that your boss will appreciate your efforts.
14. They are good co-workers
We’re not saying that you need to be BFFs with your colleagues but at least get along with them.
Work colleagues can be a great support system whenever things go south for you at work. Plus, whenever you’re in need of dire help, your colleagues are able to support you better too.