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New Year’s Resolutions: Habits of Successful Professionals

Habits of successful professionals

New Year’s Resolutions: Habits of Successful Professionals

It’s time for New Year’s resolutions. Well, maybe – if you’re into that sort of thing. Even if you’re not, you could just coincidentally start thinking about practicing the habits of successful professionals, right as the beginning of the year starts? So whether you’re the type who vows to be a whole new person by January 1 or doesn’t believe in changing overnight because of the calendar, here are some tips on how to put your best foot forward at the office.

Habits of successful professionals

Here are some popular habits of successful professionals:

Think like a manager, not an employee. What if you’re a manager already? Think like a more senior manager. Low man on the totem pole? Just got hired? Never too soon to be thinking ahead. If you establish yourself as someone who is responsible, mature, reliable, punctual, etc. you are quietly communicating that you have the potential to be a leader of others.

Do more. And do it often. Show up early, or stay a little late. If you see an interesting article about your company’s business, forward it to your manager (and the rest of your team – more about being a team player in a minute).

Keep up to date on what is happening in the company beyond your role or department. Ask questions that demonstrate your interest in the future of the business. A common theme to all habits of successful professionals is the desire to keep learning.

Keep a team spirit. Being the boss doesn’t mean acting like the boss and alienating the rest of your colleagues. Be part of a team and actively support others.

[bctt tweet=”Building effective relationships are one of the most important things you can do to progress your career.”]

If you do become the manager of your current teammates some day, you want them to be enthusiastic about your promotion. And if others are asked about your potential, you want allies around you.

Build relationships with decision makers. When you start to look for them, you’ll find that there are more opportunities to make connections than you realize. Everyone rides the same elevators to the office, and often uses the same cafeteria or vending machines.

You don’t have to have a whole speech prepared, just be ready to have a few key comments ready. And the comments don’t have to be work related. Do they come to work with a Patriots mug in hand? Then maybe you can connect over last week’s game.

Ask for feedback. And listen to it. It’s hard – no one wants to hear that despite their best efforts, they aren’t meeting expectations of the people they work for. But if you want to advance your career, you need to be open to critical feedback and able to actually improve based upon it.

The mere fact that you are willing to learn and take the information (without being defensive) sends a message that you are a professional and want to keep contributing to the company.

Habits of successful professionals are learned over time.

It will take time to change your behaviors and your attitude to make these actions a regular part of your life. And the payoff might not be immediately obvious.

But if you begin to practice these habits again and again, you are almost certain to see changes in your relationships with your peers and your managers. You will feel more confident and be better positioned to succeed in your career.