We all want to get ahead in our careers, and unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. On the upside though, there are a few, easy habits you can pick up that can transform your work life for the better.
We spoke to Hallie Crawford, certified career coach and founder of HallieCrawford.com, to see what habits help the most successful people stay on top. Here are 10 tricks you can steal from the super successful to boost your career to higher levels.
1. Wake Up Early
Mornings can be more than rough, but they're also a great time to get a head-start on your work day. If you've got a seriously packed week, spend some alone time in the office getting yourself caught up.
"If you're a morning person especially," Hallie says, "getting work done before people get into the office, before interruptions occur, can help you get a lot accomplished."
Time to grab that caffeine and get to work!
2. Communicate Effectively
It can be hard to communicate with bosses sometimes. They're always incredibly busy and at times, they can be so intimidating you quake in your heels.
Even if your super-powered boss or manager scares you, it's important to keep an open line of communication with them. Let them know where you're at on current projects, and speak up about new ideas and opportunities you have in mind.
If you're working with juniors, Hallie says, it's important to communicate with them as well and manage colleague expectations.
3. Stay Organised
This one is so simple (yet so hard!) it hurts. Keeping your emails and documents in order can honestly save your work life.
Hallie says organisation is "critical to a busy work day. You have to understand and focus on priorities in order to manage time effectively, but also be able to find documents and emails, for example, quickly and easily."
4. Use Your Time Management Skills
We all have time management skills tucked somewhere in the back of our brains, but most of the time, we'd rather chill with some procrastination and Netflix. Not at work! Properly schedule out how much time each of your projects will take, and while at work remember: Procrastination is the enemy.
Despite what most of us think, Hallie tells us multi-tasking at work is actually not a good practice. If you're trying to perform multiple tasks at once, Hallie says, "you are not focused effectively on one task at a time and giving each task the effort and focus required." Instead, stick to a schedule and plow through one job at a time.
5. Ask For Help
We all need a little help sometimes, and despite what we want to believe, none of us are the work equivalent of Wonder Woman. So don't feel bad when you need to ask a few questions.
"You have to be willing to ask for assistance when needed," Hallie says, "and not try to be all things to all people. Understand your skill set and focus there. If you try to do everything, you can spread yourself too thin time-wise but also take on things that are not in your wheel-house."
Don't get yourself in way too deep on a project you don't understand. Instead, buck up and ask for help. This will get the project finished several times faster, with far fewer redos involved.
6. Find And Use A Mentor
One of the best ways to get ahead in your chosen career field? Find someone older and wiser (or simply more experienced) to help show you the ropes. Go to networking events and make as many friends as possible. If you find one person who could really help you out in the long run, it's time to make a new friend/mentor. They can help you out when you're feeling stuck and open doors you never even knew were closed.
7. Cultivate Good Workplace Relationships
Not only is it important to network outside your workplace and find a great mentor, but you should also try to build good relationships with your colleagues. "This will enable you to ask for help and get it," Hallie says, "and be able to leverage others' expertise when you need it, because you've developed these positive relationships."
Not to mention that having a positive relationship with the people you see EVERY DAY will help out your emotional and mental state tremendously. No one likes to live in a constant state of tension!
8. Stay Honest
This one is as simple as tit for tat. You wouldn't want your boss or colleagues to lie to you, would you? If you're honest, trustworthy and dependable, your colleagues will know they can depend on you when they need it. To put it simply, Hallie says, "People will trust you more if you do this." If you build your career on honesty and integrity, your superiors will know they can trust you with more responsibility when the time comes (promotion, please!).
9. Dress To Impress
You always feel more confident when you look fierce, but Hallie reminds us that how we dress also has a lasting impact on how we're viewed in the workplace. "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have," Hallie reminds us. "How you dress makes an impression and is part of your brand." Dress like you're ready to be the boss - to walk in those incredibly intimidating patent leather heels!
10. Examine Your Strengths And Weaknesses
Time for a little self-reflection. One of the best and simplest ways to succeed in your career field is to know what you can and can't do, and then what you can absolutely knock out of the ballpark!
"Stick to what you know best," Hallie advises. "Understand your strengths and weaknesses, so you know how to manage both of them, and be able to surround yourself with people who can compliment your strengths and weaknesses."
No one makes it to the top alone. Know how best to use the team around you and how best you can help your coworkers out as well. That way, you'll be giving and receiving boosts up that corporate ladder.
Any other habits you keep for a successful career? Tweet us @sofeminineUK.