As we prepare to end the year, it is never too early to start planning our success for the next year. Below are 14 things you can do to ensure your success in 2016.
Anticipate your department’s needs:
Being a reliable source for your supervisor and seeing opportunities for your department to improve are great ways to be better at your job.
Take on tasks that your supervisor may not need to oversee directly and present a finished product to him or her.
Seeing this initiative from you often helps them understand that you can handle tasks proactively and things will not be falling solely on their shoulders.
Get to Know Your Boss Better:
Your boss controls your destiny so it’s in your best interest to get to know them better both personally and professionally.
It doesn’t mean you need to be friends with them or hang out with them, but you do need to learn what makes them tick.
The more you communicate with your boss, the better it is for you.
While you’re at it, get to know your boss’s boss as well.
Be confident in your work. You’re uniquely qualified to do exactly what you do.
Imagine that everything you contribute helps your organization to succeed.
Even when things are dicey, you can challenge yourself in 2016 to use setbacks as opportunities.
Know Your Craft and Your Industry:
Your industry is constantly changing and you need to keep up with what’s happening now.
Most industries have trade magazines or websites that have the latest news in that industry.
You should always be working to become better at your craft.
Always Come to the Table with a Solution:
Offering a solution or idea is only half of the equation and many managers feel that an idea without an action plan will only create more work for them.
Share ideas with context and a clear path for implementation for the leader to evaluate.
The more you present any issues with recommended solutions and then implement those solutions in a timely and effective manner, the more the leadership team will rely on you and think about you for future projects and new responsibilities.
Find a Mentor:
Everyone needs someone to teach them the ropes; to guide them through their career.
Find someone at your company whom you respect and want to learn from.
Remember a mentor is for when you are successful and the times you are not so successful.
You don’t need to directly ask them to be your mentor, just keep the communication lines open.
Improve Your Communication Skills:
One of the most common mistakes made by both managers and employees today, is that too often, both are afraid to come to the table and talk about underlying issues.
Too much time is spent dwelling on misunderstood employee communications, which, if left unaddressed, eventually leads to conflict.
Work Harder and Smarter:
Some employees set limits and boundaries for themselves as far as the number of hours worked or how much work they’re willing to do on a project.
It’s important to go outside these boundaries and go with the flow.
Having said this, working harder is not enough. The key is to be able to work smarter so that you’re maximizing your abilities and making the most out of your time.”
Don’t Overwork Yourself:
If you’re already an overachiever, have been dubbed a “workaholic,” or are generally exhausted, then you need to slow down and break the habit of setting impossible goals for yourself in the New Year.
Lending expertise, time and effort to other teams will help you get to know other aspects of the business as well as help you connect with people across the company.
However, remember that your current position and duties are the most important, so be sure not to bite off more than you can handle.
See the Big Picture:
There are many employees who only focus on what they’re doing, which prevents them from seeing the big picture.
You’re just one piece of the puzzle and the puzzle isn’t complete until all of the pieces are in place.
Find out what your co-workers are doing and what your supervisor is doing.
By getting a better understanding of the big picture, it will become clearer to you why you’ve been asked to complete certain projects.
Additionally, it’s a great learning experience which can help prepare you for a higher level position since managers and supervisors need to see the big picture in order to become successful.
You should always be learning something new about your position and company.
What training can you take to improve your value?
You can learn new skills that will translate into making you a better employee.
Ask the Right Questions:
Aside from observing people at work, there is probably no better way of learning than by asking questions, especially the right questions.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Think about what you want to know before you ask about it.
Follow Through on all Tasks and Commitments:
One of the most important things you can do as an employee is to follow through on work commitments.
Do what you say you are going to do in a quality manner, on time and on budget.
Your co-workers and management will see a pattern of reliability from you, which should increase their trust and confidence in your work.
Over time, this should translate into key leadership taking notice of the value you bring to the organization, and may lead to challenging, promotional opportunities down the road.