Working hard is important — this we can't deny. But there are other aspects to your office persona that may be more influential in how people see you than hard work alone. Things like consistently being on time and having a positive attitude can help improve your professional image and make you a desirable employee, more so than simply staying late to work extra hours without being asked can.
While working hard can’t hurt your reputation, the following eight habits are what will help secure you a favorable name for yourself as a true professional.
1. Being on time.
Timeliness is key when it comes to the way people view you in the office. Everyone is late every once in a while (and most of those of us in New York, we blame this on the subway!), but being on time at least most of the time is extremely important. It shows you care, are consistent, and that you are reliable.
2. Having a voice — and knowing when to use it.
Voicing your opinion in the workplace shows others you care enough to have your own ideas and that you are confident in yourself and your position within the company. The most influential people understand how to harness this as a means of powering their professionalism.
3. Asking for help.
It’s inevitable that at some point in your career, you are not going to know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. And that’s OK! It's better to admit you need help and to ask for it specifically than to complete a task unsure of whether it’s even close to being what your manager had in mind. Asking for help shows that you don’t let your ego get in the way of your work.
4. Being adaptable.
Change is a guaranteed part of an office setting. Whether your day-to-day duties are being altered or you’ve been given a new manager or a merger is taking place — employees who are adaptable and able to change with the company are valued more than those who fight and resist the change itself.
5. Maintaining a professional attitude.
This one may seem obvious, but professionalism is extremely valued in the workplace. This can mean an employee who maintains a professional attitude, doesn’t act out at work, remains calm during tough situations, and stays out of workplace gossip.
6. Being helpful.
Whether it’s offering to grab coffee for everyone before the big meeting or helping a coworker organize the break room, you are always there to offer help to the person in need. Managers note this behavior and are aware that it translates to your helpfulness in work-related situations, as well.
7. Being a positive presence.
Constantly encouraging others and offering positivity when the office is feeling down is an important personality trait to have in the workplace. You are the person people look to when they are feeling down or need a little motivation — you help keep the office morale up, which increases productivity and overall happiness among coworkers. Positivity, a community feeling, and a high office morale will lead to an increase in everyone’s hard work.