6 Traits That Will Propel Your Career Forward

October 18, 2018

Propelyourcareerforward

The first step toward reaching your dream job or title is to set realistic career-oriented goals for yourself - but how do you actually do this? Our Boca Raton advertising agency has cracked the code for the ideal combination of personal attributes that lead to a long-lasting and successful career. Here at Keenability, we are continuously pushing ourselves to be the best of our trade, and we presume you are as well. So, take a look at the six character traits that can take you from employee to CEO.

1. Assertive and Effective Communication Skills

Communication is one of the most critical personal skills you need to master. The business environment provides a wonderful opportunity to perfect effective and assertive correspondence. 

Take a moment to reflect on your professional role models, and consider the manner in which they communicate. We can only hope that their conversations are not filled with crutch words such as “like" or “you know” while conveying their points. In order to boost your communication skills, you must enrich your vocabulary, and avoid repeating those words that for many have become a habit, making the speaker sound dull or immature.  

Make a mental note to speak with conviction, purpose, and composure. If you find yourself in a situation where your opinion could be helpful, speak up! Confidently state your thoughts while making clear points to support why you feel the way you do. If you are intimidated, remember that your ideas and talents are valuable and can help the company in the long run.

Effective communication incorporates honest, humble, and respectful disclosure. A combination of both straightforward and effective communication can result in a receptive and forthcoming work atmosphere. The last thing you want to do is dismiss other people's ideas, or even worse, not give them the chance to add their input at all. A great way to make sure you aren't guilty of dominating a conversation is by listening to contrary ideas and asking for feedback about yours. Coworkers and employees alike will feel respected, resulting in conditions conducive for creative decision making. 

2. Positive Mindset

A University of North Carolina psychology researcher wrote a paper that argued happiness is both the precursor and predecessor of success. In other words, having a positive mindset can result in triumph, and triumph can result in a positive mindset — so smile at work! Negative attitudes include complaining, criticizing instead of giving feedback, and disrespecting co-workers and bosses. An optimistic attitude will get the work done and have a spillover effect on others. But it isn’t just about being content; in fact, a study reported that the majority of bosses ranked work ethic, integrity, and a pleasant demeanor more important than education. 

Instead of eye rolling at your co-workers that do EVERYTHING right, join forces with them on a project and learn from them. The best and most successful ideas are formed through collaboration.

3. Learning From Mistakes 

It is time to face the facts: you aren't perfect (sorry), therefore you will make mistakes. Coming to this realization will relieve unnecessary stresses that perfectionism can lead to. The only thing you have full control over is how you react to situations. For instance, instead of beating yourself up the next time you make a mistake, stay calm and critically analyze what happened in that specific circumstance. Then, implement the learned lesson in future scenarios. Ta-da! An effective and productive solution! Every successful businessman and woman has made mistakes, minor and major. As the saying goes, "There is no use crying over spilled milk. Next time, use a lid." Okay, we may have added that last part, but in our defense, it's an appropriate example.

4. Realize Your Value 

While putting other people's needs before your own seems noble, it won't get you as far as you might like in business. Don't take this as permission to be a selfish and ruthless tyrant; however, sacrificing your voice for someone else's isn't in your career's best interest. More often than not, people tend to value their worth by comparing themselves to co-workers or other professionals, which can lead to your personal needs getting put on the back burner. It's natural, especially if you have a competitive nature. Next time you fall into the comparison trap, remind yourself to focus on what makes YOU different and what unique value you bring to the table. After all, that's what got, or will get, you hired. 

5. Going Above and Beyond 

There are standard requirements that need to be met in order to be a good employee, such as showing up on time, meeting deadlines, and producing quality work. However, you need to be GREAT in order to really go places. Going above and beyond takes drive, discipline, and passion. Here are our top three things we feel characterize a standout employee.

-Don't Ignore Feedback: Constructive criticism is meant to be just that, constructive.  Evaluations are the perfect opportunity to identify areas you need to work on and then implement a solution to where you need to improve. You know your strengths, but recognizing your weaknesses and improving upon them will set you up tremendously well for a successful future.

-Don't Settle: If you push yourself to do your absolute best on a daily basis, the standard of your work will never plateau. Settling on the bare minimum can lead to a noticeably indifferent attitude towards your work. Try to focus on the purpose of each job you complete; it will give each piece of work a larger meaning. Work passionately and diligently on every undertaking, every day. Everyone can appreciate a hustler. *Cue Rick Ross* (This reference is only for you, Shawn)

-Don’t Be a Fly on the Wall: While your job title has a specific description, expanding upon what is required of you will get you noticed. Seizing the opportunity to take on an extra project or volunteer to help someone else will show that you take initiative. Lending a helping hand to others in order to get a job done is an important component of an effective leader and shows signs of a promising executive. 

6. The Busy Bee Employee

Wasting time is unproductive for both you and your company. Encourage yourself to keep yourself busy, such as learning a new skill if there is a lull in the day. Switching up daily tasks at your job can keep you fresh, as well as heighten your concentration and attention to detail.

Start your day with a plan. Make a checklist of three to four realistic projects that you want to tackle that day. Instead of listing out an overwhelming amount of scattered things you need to get done, break down those bigger projects with the smaller steps that will help get the job done. Keep track of all the tasks you successfully finish every day and review them at the end of the week. Ask yourself: where did I excel, and where can I improve? 

On a broader scale, creating a long-term strategy to achieve a successful career (similar to your daily "to-do" list) will help you visualize a plan of action to reach your milestones.

 

If you have other traits or tips that you know will help take others to the next level of success in their career, please reach out to us. We always value your input! Give us a call or email us today.