3 Tips on Being More Successful at Work

Post by: Tom Schin
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The University of Texas at Austin’s head coach, Tom Herman (@CoachTomHerman), famously says, “Nobody cares, work harder.”  If you’re a sports fan, you’ve probably heard this in one form or another. You don’t have to be an athlete or competitive to appreciate the sentiment of this statement’s

This sentiment can be left to some interpretation, but generally, I interpret this as, ‘what’s done is done, can’t change the past, and keep pushing forward to accomplish what needs to be done.’  It’s the same in any job, or even in a job search. Too often, it’s easier to point fingers, whine, complain, rationalize, or come up with some reason why it is the way it is.

We have choices with our jobs, and our job search. It doesn’t matter if it’s a full time job, or a temp job, or a volunteer activity. We can watch the proverbial clouds roll by, or we can be active in improving the situation.  If you want to be more successful than you are today, you need to work harder, work more efficiently, and not just at spinning the wheel, but actively seeking ways to push your performance or production to the next level.

So in the spirit of the top 3 or 4 things that will make you more successful (or for those that have to have a list to make them read something), here are some things you could ask in an interview or while on the job (perhaps during a performance review).

1.       Make sure you’re clear on what expectations are. Don’t just settle on what successful looks like. Ask for examples of what it looks like when someone has gone above and beyond. Tip: Set the above and beyond as your goal.

2.       Get organized. Part of your success relies on not wasting time. If you’re better organized (more than you think you should be), you’ll have a more efficient system to operate on. Whether you’re picking product off shelves in a warehouse, or organizing the mail, or juggling projects that need follow up, someone has done it better, faster, and more efficiently. Learn from them by asking questions.

3.       Stop comparing yourself with everyone else. Once you know the goals (and what your new stretch goal is), just go do it. Someone else may have a better work friendship with this person, or that person. Someone else may have gotten away with taking a longer lunch break than you. Who cares?  Just go about your business, be a team player, and contribute more than what’s asked of you.

Other phrases you might hear include, “suck it up buttercup,” or (I have another friend who likes to say) “Power Through.” At the end of the day, you can spin it with a number of catch phrases, but if you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen.  We all need to vent frustration, but there’s a time and place. Too often, people get caught up in needing to vent, and soon they’re seen as complainers. Don’t go there.

At the end of each day, there is time to reflect on what has made someone successful. You are either going to be the one exceeding what has been asked of you, or you’ll be one of many in the fray.  Would you rather be thought of as a good worker, or an outstanding one?  For those who aren’t ultra-competitive, it’s not about being the best at everything. It’s like running or swimming – it’s about being the best “you” you can be.  Be engaged in what you’re doing and know what that good engagement looks like from the company’s perspective.

AccuStaff is a local temporary staffing agency with offices in Albany, Johnstown and Saratoga Springs, NY. We offer tips to our candidates through our staffing blog. Find more tips by clicking on the blog link in the main menu.


Tags: Nobody cares; Work harder; work smarter; staffing blog