Success at work

You determine your own success at work by how you perform your job. Punctuality, dependability, thoroughness, neatness, professionalism, willingness and teamwork will all contribute to your ability to succeed in the workplace.

Whether or not you succeed in the workplace depends on your own goals as well as those of the person you work for. The dictionary defines success as the achievement of a desired aim. So, if you view your job as merely a way to pay the bills, you could label yourself successful by simply earning a regular paycheck. If you think of your job as an opportunity to meet a need, your level of success will depend on how well you fulfill your role. In general, the better you do what you do, the more successful you and others will consider you.

Your employer will also evaluate how you have succeeded in filling the specific role they chose you to satisfy. Things like whether you arrive at work on time, how well you contribute to the company’s purposes and goals, how well you get along with the other employees, your dependability and your thoroughness will all contribute to your ability to succeed in the workplace. The more value you add to the company, the more successful your employer will rank you.

Employer Expectations
Regardless of the type of work you do, employers all look for certain capabilities in an employee. The following list covers 20 skills a panel of employers agreed they would most like their employees to demonstrate:

  1. Punctuality
  2. Dependability
  3. Ability to get along with others and be a team player
  4. Organization
  5. Ability to understand written information
  6. Basic writing, speaking and arithmetic skills
  7. Neat and clean in appearance
  8. Maintain good health
  9. Give an honest day's work
  10. Loyalty to employer
  11. Ability to make independent decisions
  12. Use initiative and imagination
  13. Resourceful
  14. Ability to follow instructions
  15. Ability to work without close supervision
  16. Ability to work under pressure
  17. Know proper use of materials and equipment
  18. Manage time and materials effectively
  19. Follow safety regulations
  20. Have specialized training

The dictionary defines promotion as an advancement in position resulting from prior success or achievement. When a company hires you to fill a certain role and you fulfill that role above and beyond their expectations, they often promote you into another, more advanced position as a reward. In the work force, a promotion equals positive appraisal and usually provides an increase in pay and/or other benefits.

In some fields, employees “work their way up the ladder,” so to speak. They move steadily from one position into another and gradually progress higher up in the company structure. Many view this principle that rewards effort and achievement with advancement as “the American way” because of the opportunities for anyone to move up based on performance, instead of social class, position or connections.

Being Professional
In general, you demonstrate professionalism by doing your job conscientiously and fulfilling the duties of your contract or job description to the best of your ability. That includes showing up on time, maintaining a businesslike attitude and demeanor and holding yourself to the highest possible standards of character and behavior.

While you will not find a specific entry in the dictionary for the term “being professional” most people characterize it by respect for others and yourself, responsibility, integrity and commitment to quality.