The start of a new year seems to be exactly the kind of motivation that people need in order to get serious about self-improvement. For better or worse, all of these efforts are limited only by our commitment to change. As soon as we convince ourselves that “good enough” is good enough, all is lost.
How have you resolved to improve yourself this year? Maybe you’d like to lose some weight? How about becoming a better employee? We can’t really help you shed those extra holiday pounds, but with these tips, you might very well find yourself on the way to becoming a better employee.
Improve Your Relationship with Your Boss
It might feel at times like there’s a fine line between getting to know someone and sucking up, at least where management is concerned, but you’d be flat-out amazed how much better things can be for you in the workplace when you have a great relationship with your boss.
Hopefully, you’re plenty comfortable by now greeting your boss in the morning, but have you really gotten to know them on a personal level? One of the worst mistakes you can make in the workplace is to assume that your boss isn’t interested in getting to know you; you just have to be willing to take the first step sometimes. You’ll know you’re on the right track when you know enough about them that you can carry on a full conversation.
Make Yourself Indispensable
It’s a safe bet that you have a certain area of expertise in the workplace. It’s what you were trained to do, and it’s how you make your living. That’s well and good, but do you go out of your way to learn other skills as well? One of the best things you can do to distinguish yourself is to become a well-rounded employee, well-versed in a variety of skills.
Do your co-workers struggle with certain technology in the workplace? Did your office upgrade to a cloud based phone system or new computers that they’re learning more slowly than they’d like? If so, see what you can do to help mitigate the learning curve.
Don’t Be Afraid to Offer Solutions
Another big mistake you can make in the workplace is to assume that your opinions don’t carry any weight. If you have observed a problem that needs to be addressed, don’t wait for management to come up with a solution; offer your own input on how the problem can be solved.
Again, it comes down to making yourself valuable to your employers. Anybody who’s willing to speak their mind and help to improve things in the workplace is definitely going to be rewarded in the long run.
Learn Everything You Can About Your Industry
Context is everything. You may be perfectly competent at your particular job, but if you don’t understand why it’s necessary, and how it fits into the bigger picture, you’re going to find it more difficult to stay engaged.
To that end, resolve in 2014 to learn everything you can about your place in your particular industry. Whether your company provides virtual phone systems or manufactures rubber ducks, try to learn everything you can about the business; you’ll be surprised at how valuable a little perspective can be.