How To Become Great At Your Job
The one way to stay relevant at your job and in the marketplace is to continually invest in learning opportunities and skill development.
Surviving the workplace requires constant learning and adaptability. Most of us strive to be our best at work. But once in a while, we drop the ball on a task and get reprimanded, which inevitably hurts your work - esteem. If there's anything I've learnt from my years at work is the art of the "bounce back." This means that feeling bad about messing up at work, while legit, isn't productive. If you want to get better at your job, here are the three things you must do.
Your degree is only the beginning of your professional journey. To excel in the workplace, you have to continuously update your skills and knowledge base. When I graduated from undergrad, the new practice in Mass Communications at the time was "below the line adverts." Think branded pencils, notebooks, and other business swag. Now Social media is the rage in Communications. the professional who thrives and does great work is the one who continues to learn, adapt, update and refine their skills.
If you want to be great at your job, keep up with the trends in your industry, learn new technology, read books, and continue to grow.
As you find your way around tasks, projects, and other work related activities, do not be afraid to ask questions. This is a lesson that has taken me a long time to learn. When you get assigned a new task or project, ask questions to get clarity on what needs to be done, the scope of the project, and what are your deliverables.
Asking questions helps you understand what your manager needs from you. For instance, I have on occasions, dived head first into tasks based on assumptions on my deliverables, only to later find out that I spent hours working in the wrong direction because I wasn't immediately clear about what needed to be done. Asking the right questions would have saved me hours of needless research and work time.
Tip: when asking questions, begin by reiterating what you understand about the task or project.
e.g. Dear Lagbaja, before I proceed with this CDE project, I need some clarity on the following points. The project will start on X date, and cover Y and Z departments with the goal of creating a more efficient process for handling ABC. Am I missing anything?Please confirm that I am on the right track.
By framing the discussion in this way, you are giving your manager an insight into your understanding of the project, and also providing an avenue for them to correct an misunderstanding or confirm that you are on the right track.
Ask for Help
Do not be afraid to ask for help at work. Know this, you are not expected to know everything. You will get asked to handle projects that you know absolutely nothing about. Your first course of action is to do research and learn as much as you can on your own. If you find yourself falling behind or getting stuck, then approach a more knowledgeable colleague and ask for help.
Tip: when asking for help, begin the conversation by first stating what you've done up until that point, clearly state where you need support, and then be specific about what you need your colleague to help you with.
Framing the conversation in this way helps your colleague see that you are not trying to dump your work on them, and also exactly how to support you.
Alright guys, that is all I have for you in this post. As always, let me know other things we could all do to become better at our jobs.