How to be a good employee - and how it can enhance your career

How to be a good employee - and how it can enhance your career

Do you want to enhance your career? Then one of the first things you need to focus on is becoming a good employee. According to Lea McLeod, M.A. in her article “7 Ways to Become Your Boss’ Dream Employee” for The Muse, the most fundamental thing to remember is that as an employee, it’s your job to contribute to your manager’s success. Of course, your manager’s success hinges on your team’s accomplishments, so the best employees are the ones who do what it takes to get the job done right — and with a positive attitude. That way, the entire team can be successful together. 

So what exactly does it take to be a good employee? These pointers can help:

  • Always meet your deadlines. Deadlines are there for a reason — and if you miss one, it could have repercussions for your company’s business. Plan your schedule carefully so you can always deliver your work before or on the designated date. If something comes up and you think you might miss a deadline, inform your supervisor immediately so he or she can take appropriate action, such as reassigning some of the work to a colleague.
  • Help your coworkers when possible. Sometimes, other employees might struggle with an assignment or workload. If you share insights that help them gain a better understanding or even — with your supervisor’s permission — take on some of their work, you’ll become a more integral part of the team.
  • Offer solutions to problems. Your manager hears lots of problems every day and is expected to solve all of them. Along with his or her other managerial duties, that’s a significant responsibility. If you run into a challenge, make sure you have one or two possible solutions lined up before going to your supervisor. Remember: Everything you can do to lighten your boss’s load is a win-win for both of you. 
  • Point out opportunities when appropriate. Perhaps you see a way to streamline a process, or maybe you believe you can upsell an additional service to a big client. Whenever you see a viable opportunity to help your company advance, put together an overview of your suggestion and present it to your supervisor.
  • Work hard. It goes without saying that you need to give every day 100 percent — without fail. 
  • Meet your commitments. From promising a report to a coworker to agreeing to attend a networking event, make sure you’re always reliable. When people know they can count on you, they’ll value you more.
  • Be passionate. As Ken Sundheim points out in his Forbes article “15 Traits of the Ideal Employee,” if you’re passionate, you’ll enjoy your job and it won’t feel like work. Moreover, being passionate about what you do will drive you to go above and beyond every time — and that’s something that your supervisor will most definitely notice. 

When you’re doing what it takes to make your team and your supervisor successful, you’re not just helping them — you’re also helping yourself. You’re enhancing your soft and technical skills, you’re becoming a better team player, and you’re most likely also becoming a highly valued member of the team because of your fantastic input. And all of these things together eventually add up to improved working relationships, as well as more and better opportunities for your career. 


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