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Explore how to succeed at work by following these 12 proven ways. Though no one wants to admit it, a lot more goes into being successful at work than merely being good at your job.

How to Succeed at Work: 12 Proven Ways

By Catherine Adenle
It’s vital that you know how to succeed at work so that you can thrive, grow and keep your job. Aside from doing the work that you are hired to do, it’s also about giving people the perception that you’re competent, hardworking and flexible. In addition, it’s important for the right people at work to like you.
So, how do you succeed at work? In order to discover the formula of how to succeed at work, you have to do these 12 things:
How to Succeed at Work: 12 Proven Tips
1. Do your job and always go the extra mile
2. Believe in yourself
3. Align yourself with the right people
4. Keep yourself motivated
5. Don’t stop learning
6. Be enthusiastic about adding value
7. Embrace change
8. Come up with great ideas, not problems
9. Know your purpose at work
10. Know when and how to self promote
11. Be useful to your colleagues
12. Always act in a professional manner
1. Do your job and always go the extra mile: First and foremost, the key element of how to succeed at work is doing the job you they are paying you to do. Those that do more than what the organization require or need generally stand a better chance of being successful at work. Going the extra mile sets you aside from the others and it allows you to shine. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little ‘extra’. This fact applies everywhere in life and not just at work. Real effort will usually reward you at work because your boss will know and your colleagues will be aware that you put in the extra time and really care. It is a known fact that bosses can usually tell when a job has been done with an above-average dedication. So, for any tasks, especially value adding ones, go the extra mile.
2. Believe in yourself and ability: There is power in self belief! If you need to know how to succeed at work, you need to believe in yourself and ability first. If you don’t believe in yourself why do you want others to believe in you or your capabilities? Most successful career-minded men and women are driven by the fact that they believe in themselves and what they have to offer. Knowing how to market yourself, accomplishments and projects are vital at work. Using your skills, be good at spotting challenges at work and deriving solutions. When you believe in your abilities, others will back you.
Never underestimate what you can do. You may surprise yourself.

3. Align yourself with the right people: At work, no man is an island! There is power in having cheerleaders and mentors at work. Knowing who they are and aligning yourself to them will help you succeed at work. Mentors at work can show you how to succeed at work. They  can impart specific knowledge and expertise which contributes to your success as their protégé.  Learning and skills development at work cannot be overlooked at work if you are passionate about your career growth. Who do you look up to and admire at work for their achievements? Approach them and politely ask that they mentor you. Mentors can  facilitate professional networking by introducing you as their protégé to influential individuals within your organizational context. These important career contacts can in turn lead to career success in terms of salary, promotions, and job offers.

When it comes to mentoring and aligning yourself to the right people, I am stating the obvious here. However, from experience, mentors are a valuable resource for everyone. Whether it’s someone you look up to at work, your former lecturer from university or a successful person in your field, a mentor can open doors for you in your career or open a door to your desired job.

4. Keep yourself motivated: When you think of how to succeed at work, what do you see in your mind? How do you measure success? What does it look like? So, you need to create a vivid and compelling vision of the dream you wish to achieve at work. Consider all the aspects of your work life as if you were looking through a wide-angled lens. See your vision like a picture in your mind. Write down all you see, think, and feel in order to succeed at work. See yourself in that vision of having what you want at work. Now, you must make the decision to say yes to having what you want at work. Making the decision is the first step to committing to a dream. In other words, how bad do you want success at work and what are you going to do to for your dream to come to pass?

Identify what stimulates and motivates you at work. Do more of those. Notice the people and things that drain and de-motivate you and stay away from them. Be passionate and have boundless enthusiasm. Passion is a great motivator and if you are motivated, you are passionate!

Guide on How to Get Noticed at Work

5. Don’t stop learning: The only thing that can stop us all from learning is death. As long as we are alive, we must aim to continue learning. For you, continuous learning is a key career and business imperative. Continuous learning is increasingly important to our success at work and that of the organization because of ever-changing job and economic landscape. Retooling and skills augmentation must be on top of your agenda at work. Given the current business environment, organizations and individuals keen to learn continuously in order to deal with all these changes to survive.
At an individual level, continuous learning is about you expanding your capabilities to learn by regularly upgrading your current skills and increasing your knowledge. Continuous learning in the workplace involves viewing your experiences as potential learning and re-examining assumptions, values, methods, and practices.
6. Be enthusiastic about adding value: At work, there’s a lot of wheel spinning work. Don’t get too caught up in this kind of work and then forget to do the work that will add value to the bottom line for your team or organization. The only thing that will separate you from others is by taking on challenging work. Your role exists for a reason and this will ultimately be determined by the strategy of the team or group that you belong to. This strategy is often expressed in a vision and in the mission statement. In your role, you should help the organization achieve its vision. If you look at your workload and are thinking this is not the case, you need to ask yourself how secure your role is.
Be enthusiastic by the tasks that are strategy driven first – as these are the tasks that will add value to the team, your manager’s success and the organisation’s bottom-line. These are the tasks that will let you succeed at work.
7. Embrace change: If you haven’t noticed, now you know – change is everywhere you turn and it will always present itself at work. You have to be flexible in
 order to embrace change. Trust that you are sure to experience another change in the workplace soon, regardless of your occupation or capabilities. Modifications to management, services, products, technology, procedures, expectations, policies, and even company culture take place all the time. However, as humans, we all have a common, natural instinct to resist change. Your unwillingness to be flexible and adapt may prohibit or derail career advancement. You can become a valuable asset to any company by showing a willingness to embrace change. Embracing change is an important aspect of how to succeed at work.

8. Come up with great ideas, not problems: Another key element of how to succeed at work is not to be the one coming up with problems. In short, don’t be the “problematic one,” in your team. You don’t want to be the one the boss always has to keep an eye on, check up or follow-up on things. Instead, try to be the reliable and capable one that the boss and others can depend on. It might not be apparent immediately, but a good boss will surely recognize and appreciate that attribute and help you to succeed. Agreed, you are not looking to be the “perfect one” with an invisible halo etched on top your head.

Trust that you are probably going to make a mistake or two at work. Indeed, you can mistakenly create a problem at least once or twice. However, when that happens, and you go to your boss as you should, try not to just report the problem, but go along with a solution to solve the problem. Always think of solutions and be prepared to discuss with your boss and seek guidance or approval to implement solutions.

9. Know your purpose at work: Ok, this may sound strange. However, lots of people work just for their pay. If this is the case, there’s no use trying to succeed at work via a promotion or otherwise if you don’t know why you’re at work or the value you add. What is your purpose at work? What will go wrong if you are not there? Why are you there apart from earning a living? Do you have a desire to help the organization provide top-notch services or create innovative products that people love? is there something special that you are helping to contribute to humanity? Can you define your purpose? If you can do this, then, you have figured out how to succeed at work.
It’s important to keep what you’re trying to accomplish at work in mind at all times, otherwise you’ll lose focus of why want you wanted to succeed at work in the first place. Frankly, Without purpose, you’re just there!
10. Know how to self-promote: Well, this is the hardest part of how to succeed at work as it deals with self promotion. It’s hard to impress your boss and colleagues if they don’t know what a good job you’ve done or are doing. However, you have to master how to tactfully promote your accomplishments. You can do this by taking a moment out of a meeting with your boss or during your one-to-one meeting to bring up specific accomplishments — finishing a project with great results, gaining a new major client, deriving solutions to challenging issues, etc. The key method is to put your personal achievements in the context of how they help the team or organization to meet long-term goals. Doing it this way demonstrates that there’s no doubt about what you’re adding to the team or organization.To avoid sounding arrogant to your boss, make sure you spread praise to other colleagues who helped you to succeed.

11. Be useful to your colleagues: For this, it pays if you are the ‘go-to person’ for a skill at work. It is so because if you share your knowledge and area of expertise with others and do this well, you will always be the first person people contact for help in the subject matter area and you will never be redundant in the office especially if you are a great asset to everyone.

Sharing knowledge and helping others distinguish you from everyone else. Doing these builds trust with your colleagues and makes them your ally down at work.As well, they will be willing to share information with you, whether it’s a tip on how to do anything better or a heads up about a coming organizational shift at work.

12. Always act in a professional manner: One of the trickiest parts of how to succeed at work is conducting yourself professionally during work and work-related social events. While all companies holiday parties might be presented as a chance for you to throw back a few beers, dance and enjoy yourself, it’s important to remember that one wrong comment or action in a relaxed setting could tarnish the reputation you’ve spent all these years building at work. So, the main element of how to succeed at work is being professional at work.
The Infographic below shows you 20 ways to be indispensable at work. If you master how to apply some of these 20 ways, you are bound to be successful at work.
20 Ways to Be Indispensable at Work (Infographic)

How to Succeed at Work - 20 Ways to Be Indispensable (Infographic)

Now that you have explored how to succeed at work, what else can you add? Let us hear from you. Just add your comment below.

Catherine Adenle
Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.
Catherine Adenle
Catherine Adenle

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