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Being successful in your career and climbing that corporate ladder requires a lot of work. Not only do you have to do your job well, but you must go above and beyond and always be trying to demonstrate your value. However, there are several easy things you can do to help you be successful in your professional life. These habits that require zero talent will give a good impression to your colleagues and management.
Optics are very important in work politics. People who receive promotions or are managers are not necessarily the ones who did their job the best. Someone who is mediocre at their job but has great optics and can play the politics game is far more likely to receive a promotion than someone who is the greatest at their job but no one really likes.
Being a likable person with both your colleagues and especially your boss is half the battle of succeeding in your career. I’m not trying to push some corporate propaganda on you or give you some corporate euphemisms for obedience. You don’t have to like the corporate politics game. Trust me, I don’t like it either. But you MUST play it if you want to succeed in your career. Here are 8 work habits that require zero talent to help you play the game and succeed in your career.
8 Work Habits That Require ZERO Talent
Being on time
Being on time is the EASIEST habit that requires absolutely zero talent. Go to bed at a reasonable hour, set your alarm for the appropriate time to wake up. Give yourself some extra time in case your bus is late or you run into traffic.
Show up to work on time. It shows that you are dependable and reliable enough to get to work on time. This is the bare minimum expectation of you as an employee. Meet it.
In addition to showing up to work on time, show up to meetings on time. Do not let anyone wait for you to start the meeting. Being on time to a meeting shows that you respect everyone’s time. Don’t be disrespectful.
Demonstrate your work ethic by being a hard worker. It does not matter if you do not know how to do something or you do not do it very well. Show that you are trying. Put in the effort to figure it out.
No one likes a lazy worker. Your boss will start to hate you and your colleagues will start to resent you.
Body language is very important in setting the tone for your presence. You want to give off an open and positive vibe. Simple adjustments in body language can have a big impact.
Sit up straight in a meeting and show that you are present! Do not slouch in your chair. It makes you small. You might as well be invisible!
Do not cross your arms when speaking with someone. It makes you very closed off and not approachable.
Your face should be happy. I’m not saying to smile for no reason like a lunatic. But do not look like you are absolutely miserable to be in this meeting, even if you are. Fake it if you must! You can fake it for an hour or so and look like you are excited to contribute in a meaningful way.
Appearance is a habit that requires zero talent which demonstrates your effort. You do not need to be dolled up with a face full of make up in designer clothes. With that said, you need to look put together.
Have good hygiene. You should be showering and brushing your teeth on a regular basis. Floss and brush your teeth twice a day. It might be a good idea to add in mouth wash too, just to be safe.
Wear deodorant. Shave your armpits and legs if you are a female. Your hair should be brushed and your clothes should be wrinkle free and stain free.
You should be appropriately well dressed. Business casual is always a safe bet if you are unsure of what the company attire is.
Having a good attitude can make all the difference. Companies would rather promote someone who has a positive and energetic attitude and are just mediocre at their job. Being enthusiastic will make you a likeable person to both work with as well as manage.
If you want to succeed in your career and climb that corporate ladder, you need to be a coachable person. Be eager to learn. No one likes a know it all. When your boss is trying to teach you something, listen.
Listen to the criticisms and feedback that you get from managers. Listen to the feedback, reflect on it, and apply the changes necessary. Your boss is telling you exactly what they want to see from you. They are telling you exactly what you need to do to succeed.
Show management that you are coachable by applying those changes and adapting!
Always show up ready. If there was pre-work that you had to do before a meeting or something that your boss will call on you for, be prepared.
Being prepared will also demonstrate that you respect everyone’s time. It will demonstrate that you are dependable and reliable and that you are a team player.
You pull your own weight and you are a valuable contributing member of the team.
First and foremost is to do your job well. That may require some talent. But volunteering to do extra work does not. If there is something extra that needs to be done or an uncommon task that comes up that needs to be assigned, think about volunteering to do it.
Everyone loves a team player, especially management. The words “team player” is such a corporate culture terminology that I despise. It basically means do whatever management wants and make their life easier. But as I said, you don’t have to love the game, but you have to play it. Corporate politics that is.
This is not to say you should volunteer to do the extra work ALL the time, but do it in moderation. Do not volunteer for all the extra tasks because you will probably start being taken advantage of.
You do not want to increase your workload significantly on a constant basis. Your boss may start to expect this from you as a default. I am a big proponent of work-life balance as well as being fairly compensated for your work.
So there you have 8 work habits that require zero talent that you can exercise to help you succeed in your career!