Whether you are fresh into a new position or a seasoned employee, there is always room for improvement. It has nothing to do with your performance or abilities in general, but simply that you can achieve so much more. You are in control of your work destiny, no one else. That raise you’ve been wanting, or that promotion you’ve had your eye on can be yours. You just have to work for it.
Managers and supervisors already have an enormous amount of work to do and the last thing they want to have to worry about is if their employees are getting things done. Learn to be self-sufficient. Don’t sit around waiting for the next task or project to be assigned to you, go out and find it. If you come across something that you don’t have time for right now, make note and go back to it when do you have extra time. Keeping your work flow at a constant pace helps keep you steady. If your work flow or tasks are erratic, that can affect your work style.
Staying busy is good, but don’t over do it. If you already have five projects that you are juggling and your manager comes to you with something new, be honest. It is OK to tell your manager you have enough on your plate. If the new project is a higher priority, confirm with your manager that it is OK to put off one of the lower priority projects to make time. If you are overwhelmed, the quality of your work is sure to reflect it, which reflects poorly on you.
If you are juggling multiple tasks or projects, master the art of scheduling and prioritizing. If you have a handful of projects and one of them is significantly smaller or less involved, try knocking that project out first. Not only does this mark something off your to-do list, but it will boost your productivity by satisfying your sense of accomplishment. Likewise, if you have a large project with multiple tasks, start small and work your way up the list. Complete what you can and move on to the next task.
It happens to everyone. Mistakes. They are a part of life, but sometimes they are the best learning experiences. When you make a mistake doing something, you tend to remember that mistake, and ultimately, not make it again. Learn from your mistakes. Ask yourself, what could I have done to avoid the mistake. Also, own up to the mistake. Trying to ignore it or blame it on someone else ends up coming back to bite you. If you own up to it immediately, you can (hopefully) fix it, learn from it and move on to something else.
Earlier I mentioned getting a raise or promotion. Neither of these things are required or guaranteed in a position. They are rewards or incentives for a job well done. They are not given; they are earned. If you want a raise or promotion, you have to work for it. Don’t work 9 to 5 every day doing only what has been asked of you. Come in a little early or stay a little late to get some work done on that big project that your manager has given to you. Being on time and reliable is one thing, but being available and dependable is another.
With all the hard work you’ve put in, it doesn’t hurt to relax a little. Remember to take a break every now and then during the day. Get up, stretch your legs, get some coffee, whatever you need to do to give your mind a rest. Something as simple as walking down the hall and chatting with a coworker for a minute. Anything to stimulate your mind in a different way. If you’re starting to feel burned out on a project, switch to something else. Sometimes powering through a project can do more harm than good.
A job is work, but it doesn’t have to always feel that way. If you are passionate about what you do, and put your best self into it, great things will happen. If you put in the hard work and extra effort, there is no reason you shouldn’t get that raise or promotion you’ve been working for.