12 easy, effective habits to elevate your career as a newcomer

Once in a while, it’s good to revisit your goals for the year and see if they are aligned with your long-term prospects for career growth in Canada. Good work habits are essential for anyone who wants to succeed in his or her job, whatever the level. If you’re proactive about your future, you can get ahead faster by focusing on these 12 very simple but effective habits.

I will focus on RESULTS, not just activities

Don’t just aim for knocking off the to-do list for the week. Think of delivering and measuring the quantitative results of your work. Saying: “In last week’s management meeting, I was able to realign our spending priorities, which will save us $50,000 next year,” sounds better than just, “Last week’s management meeting went great!” As Peter Drucker, the marketing guru says: “What can’t be measured can’t be improved.”

I will give people my full CONCENTRATION

It’s not your great communication skills that catch the attention of hiring managers.
It ‘s the effective listening skills — also correlated with perceived ability to lead. Giving people undivided attention, and showing them that you care about their thoughts and opinions is more powerful than you know.

I will gather more FEEDBACK more often

Feedback can be tough to take for most ordinary employees. But whoever said you are ordinary? Top performers have figured out how to take it seriously without taking it personally — and then, how to gracefully put it into action.

I will SOLVE more problems

Anyone can slip a complaint letter into the suggestion box. But a truly leader is one that has the courage to come up with solutions to those problems. Becoming a problem solver shows that you care — not only about your own career, but about the long-term health of your team and organization as well.

I will COMMIT to constant learning

There is an old adage —”No ask, No get.” How true. Commit to forever learn about your industry, the emerging trends, your organization and the world at large. The most successful people are always asking questions, attending conferences and courses, and always working to improve upon their skillset and learn something new.

I will stay POSITIVE whatever the situation

It’s not how close your deadline or how tough your work situation. It’s how you handle the situation that reveals a lot about your leadership abilities. And other people will take their cues from you. Whatever the situation at work, take a breath, put on a smile, and show everyone boss you appreciate the opportunity. It’ll go further than you know.

I will get COMFORTABLE with pressure

Start getting comfortable with pressure. In fact, go out of your way to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. When you do this more often, you’ll be more immune to pressure in sudden stress situations, for instance, an impromptu meeting with the boss.

I will take CHARGE, more often

When faced with a workplace challenge, a project roadblock or low team morale, most of your colleagues may shrug and say, “Well, there’s not much I can do about it.” The most successful people, on the other hand, take immediate, decisive action.

I will SPEAK up more in meetings

Whatever the size or structure of a meeting, the people who get ahead don’t wait for permission or an invitation to speak — they make sure everyone in the room knows they have something to share. Even if you don’t have a suggestion, you can always speak up to agree with another member’s point of view. Just asking a well thought-out question can position you in good light.

I’ll pay close attention to BODY language

Did you know 93 per cent of communication is non-verbal? It has nothing to do with our words. To be perceived as a leader when you communicate, stand up to speak if possible, with feet comfortably apart, shoulders back, chin up and with arms expanded, so that your body language adds credibility to your message. It works when seated, too. Just learn to sit up straight with arms out and expand in your space. It demonstrates self-reliance and power.

I will RECORD my accomplishments

Remember, even if your boss or superiors generally thinks you do a great job, they are not going to keep a log of your achievements. And that’s why successful people keep track of their own sales numbers, project results and happy clients’ feedback.

I will look for and grab LEADERSHIP opportunities

It could be the initiative to lead a project team, volunteering to mentor a junior employee, or taking it upon themselves to train the new interns. Whatever the situation, people who want to, and often do get promoted don’t wait for leadership opportunities to come to them — they look around, see where a leader is needed and jump in.
There that was easy, smart and effective, isn’t it?
None of the habits listed above is a huge, herculean task to accomplish. Each one is simply a small daily action that you can incorporate into your daily routine. Start with one and add more as you go. Before you know it, your career will be zooming — the smart, easy, effective way.

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