As a full time employee, you spend a significant amount of your time working. Around 40 hours a week, in fact. Even if you've been working in the same company for over twenty years, there will always be something you can do to better yourself and help you make the most out of your daily grind.
To become the best at what you do, you first need to enjoy what you're doing - that's just common sense. Companies with happy employees outperform their competition by 20%*, and when you're happier in the workplace, your optimism and motivation will rub off on your entire team (even your boss).
Know your industry
It’s more than likely that your industry will be constantly changing. As an employee, being able to keep up with the current trends will provide you with invaluable knowledge that you can use to thrive in your work environment and boost your confidence. Your industry will no doubt have relevant blogs and industry magazines to read, so you can use this information to talk confidently about changes with your boss, colleagues, industry professionals and clients.
Have a positive attitude
It’s not rocket science – having a bad attitude will bring down your productivity. In fact, happy employees are actually 12% more productive**. You know that for as long as you’re working, there will always be those tasks that will make you want to crawl under your desk and hide, however when you accept that and show you’re reliable and are willing to do even the most tedious of tasks, you will notice a difference (and so will your boss!).
Set goals for yourself
“A goal properly set is halfway reached” – Zig Ziglar
Your goals are much harder to achieve if they are vague, try setting a date and time for when you have to complete them by and be clear and specific when setting them. Being an employee, you have goals – both personal and work, daily and weekly, big and small. You can try and set smaller milestones as setting ‘big’ goals will make your task look daunting and unreachable. Split up your bigger goals and think smaller: ‘What do you want to achieve today?’
Being a proactive employee is especially important when you’re working in a smaller business, because it will be extremely beneficial if you can take control of spotting issues and suggesting ideas, without having to wait for instructions from your members of management, who might be limited in numbers and will undoubtedly already have a lot on their plate.
Get to know your boss better
I don’t mean you should try and become best friends with your boss as that's not necessary, but it’s important that you get to know how he/she works and what they need from you. Determining their priorities is important; it lets you know what you can do to be a valuable employee. You can find out their work style over time, without even needing to ask them: does your boss start early, or stay late? Does your boss like to be updated via face to face or email? Be open to new ways of working to accommodate your boss.
When you’re a self-starter at work, your motivation will rub off on your co-workers. As an employee, don’t be afraid to put yourself forward and take more responsibilities – your colleagues may follow your example. Having a motivated and encouraged workforce will create a friendlier and more productive atmosphere for everyone to work in, and your boss will appreciate your efforts.
Being your best self as an employee is all about finding the balance between keeping your boss happy and keeping yourself happy. Only you can make yourself become a better employee, and these steps should give you an idea of what you can do to maximise your potential.
* (Source: SnackNation)
** (Source: Fast Company)