6 Tips for Succeeding at Work

May 30, 2015 | 6 comments

Last week I had my first evaluation at my new job and, as I expected, it was very positive. In fact, my VP said these words, “If there is anyone who is on the right track, it’s you.” I just smiled. I didn’t know what to say. I’ve heard those same words in every evaluation I’ve ever had and I credit the work ethic I inherited from my Dad. He is one of the hardest workers I know and he passed that on to all three of his kids.

When I think about the jobs I’ve had over the years and the career I have now, there are 6 things that have helped me develop a pattern of succeeding at work.

6 tips to help you succeed at work

Invest in Your Wardrobe

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on your wardrobe but you should invest according to your position and salary. At the very least you should own:

  1. A great pantsuit
  2. A black pencil skirt
  3. A versatile white blouse (and see great styling tips from one of my favorite bloggers over at Downtown Demure here).
  4. A shirtdress or wrap dress
  5. A great everyday handbag
  6. A killer pair of heels

Find a Mentor

Pay attention during your first few weeks on the job and find someone that embodies your 5-year plan. Pay attention to their habits (When do they arrive? What time do they go home? How vocal are they in meetings? What type of projects do they work on?) and reach out to them. Build a friendship. Foster this business relationship.

Set Your Own Goals

If you have a good manager, or you work for a good company, they are going to help motivate you to grow in your career and they are going to set goals for you. Just because the company has goals they want you to meet doesn’t mean that you should be satisfied with their targets. Set your own goals for 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days out and work toward achieving them. Make notes of your goals, the steps you took to achieve them, and the ultimate results. This information will be good when you sit down for performance reviews.

One of my favorite books to help inspire this way of thinking is Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.

Show Up on Time and Don’t Be the First to Leave

Trust me, your managers, directors, and VP’s notice what time you arrive in the morning. They know if you’re walking in the door at 7:45am or 8:10am. The time you arrive in the morning is important because you want to provide an image of a go-getter, a motivated employee, and someone dedicated to the company. Along those same lines, don’t be the first to leave. My company recently brought a new hire on and every single day he is packed up and ready to leave by 4:59pm. By 5:02pm he is out the door. Don’t be that guy. Stay until 5:20pm or 5:45pm or later if that’s your company’s culture. Pay attention to the culture.

Remember That Your Co-Workers are Co-Workers, Not Friends

I have a lot of co-workers that I’m friendly with and, at work, we are very close. It’s just important to remember that they are co-workers. They are not the childhood friends that have known you since you were 5, they are not the high school friends that know your first heartbreaks, and they are not the college friends that you partied and created a lot of regrettable memories with. These are co-workers so treat them that way, even when you are friendly. You never know who might one day be promoted and become your new boss.

Volunteer for Projects and New Tasks

Show initiative after starting a new job because it presents an image of you being ambitious and a team players. It proves that you aren’t afraid of a project and that you’re willing to dive in and take the reins.

Let’s Talk…

  • How have you found success at work?
  • Do you have any tips for succeeding at work to add to the list?