7 Habits to Pick up Today to Kill It in the Office
Featuring words by Carlena Hartshorn
For some, landing that dream job can seem like a fantasy. For most, it takes years of jumping across roles, companies and departments to land the one, dream job. Wherever you are along that journey, treat every position like an opportunity to take you closer to where you want to be. Here are seven habits that I’ve picked up over the years that have made me a killer employee!
Learn About Your industry From the Outside
What really sets an innovative employee apart is not one that can put into practice what they have learned in the office (though this is still important!), it’s those who contribute fresh and inventive ideas to pave the role for the future. To get the juices flowing in the morning, I always spend my commute listening to podcasts centered around either the department I’m in, the department I want to get into, or the industry I work for.
It’s never too early to start planting seeds for your career progression. Any effective manager will want to know where you want to advance so they can help you get there. This is a habit that took me a while to grasp, I always felt the need to feel secure in my role and be performing at my best before I could even bring up where I want to go next.
Time blocking is the #1 way I stay productive. It’s a different way of looking at the day ahead. Instead of seeing it as 8 hours to ‘work,’ which sounds daunting and honestly not very fun, see it as 30 minutes to reply to emails, 3 hours to take meetings, 2 hours to work on your project, 1 hour to go out for lunch, 30 minutes on a coffee date, etc.
I regularly go out for coffee dates with my coworkers to lean on them, get out of my habits, and build relationships. Whenever I’m having an off month, I find what always helps me is talking to a coworker who thinks a little differently to build a new strategy.
Don’t Get Complacent
If you’re doing well, congratulations! Celebrate, and then try to do even better. See how far you can take it.
Focus Equally (if Not More) on Life Outside of Work
So you’re putting these habits into action and you’re killing it in the office, but don’t put 100% of your time and energy into your career. At the end of the day, there are so many aspects of your life that are just as important. I try my best never to take my work home with me, sometimes I’ll stay late at the office but my home is for me, my family and my interests. Take time to recharge- whatever that means to you. Focus on your relationships and your hobbies. It’ll just give you more to bring to the table.
Leave a Job That’s Not Serving You
My biggest professional regrets were staying at jobs that I was unhappy at for too long. Think about the position you’re in now: are you generally happy and fulfilled? Do you dread Mondays? Are you learning constantly? Will it lead to opportunities for career progression? Are you gaining skills and experience to help you get that dream job?