It doesn’t seem that long ago that my oldest son, Taylor, was officially looking for his first real “job”. He was 17, had big aspirations and is an amazing young man (yes, I know, I’m supposed to think that – but he really is!). My other son, Garret (who’s also amazing 🙂 ) followed close behind in getting his first job.
As they joined the work force, there are several work habits I encouraged them to practice in any job they get, either now or in the future. These habits apply to all of us, at any stage of our work life. Oddly, I see them violated often by people who should know better – people I deal with as a customer, ministry leaders I work with, or in work partnerships I interact with.
We’d all do well, perhaps, to get back to basics in our work life to ensure that we “do good work.”
Ten Habits That Anyone Can Master To Do Good Work
Getting to work on time means being ready to work at your start time. Be on time to meetings. Meet your deadlines and do your work efficiently. This alone will differentiate you from many others.
2. Know what’s expected
Understanding what’s important to your supervisor is the starting point for success with your supervisor. Listen…carefully. Take time to understand your job description. Listen to instruction for particular tasks. Observe how other successful employees are getting the job done. Ask questions if you don’t understand.
3. Do the basics well
If you can’t do the fundamental tasks of your job well, then don’t expect to be listened to when you have a great idea, want a new role, or need some slack in your job for some reason. Master the fundamentals.
4. Have a great attitude
Attitude makes a monumental difference in your job. A positive attitude will help you enjoy your work well, present yourself better to your supervisors, and engage your co-workers more easily. Cut the negativity and complaining – have a great attitude.
5. Max out the effort
Whatever it is you are asked to do, give it your best. Doing the minimum is for losers. I don’t care if it’s cleaning toilets or making million dollar decisions – give it your all.
6. Communicate well
Look people in the eye. Listen carefully. Say what you mean. Be timely in your communications. Set the bar high, even if your supervisor has set it low. This is another area that can easily separate you from others, and it’s really not that hard!
7. Show respect
You will have people around you that are hard to respect. It might be a co-worker. It might be a boss. It might be a customer. But they will show up, sooner or later. Speak to them and about them respectfully – always. Treat them kindly – always. Do whatever you can to help them be successful – always.
8. Be a team player
There will always be varying levels of responsibility, but no one – no one – is successful on their own. And rarely is the work all about you. Yes, you want to shine and be successful, but it’s ok to help others be successful and celebrate with them, too.
9. Think outside the job description
If you work at a fast food restaurant and are assigned to the counter, it’s still ok to pick up that trash you see, or to make sure that overflowing toilet gets fixed. Make sure your job gets done (and done well!), but don’t be slow to help out in other areas when you are able.
10. Take initiative to be creative
Problem-solvers go far. In any job there will be problems to solve, ways of doing things better, or new ideas waiting to be discovered. Be the one who takes initiative to make things happen.
What other work habits would you suggest?
(please share in comments below)