From Model Student to Model Employee: 7 Things Your Future Employer Wants From You

Every job in every industry is different. Each organisation has its own protocol and a set of decorum that is unique to achieving its corporate goals. How do you stand out as a model employee? Matching top-notch work with excellent ethics is your golden ticket. Here are seven pro-tips to outshine your competition no matter which work environment you find yourself in.

1. Take Initiative 

Ironically, taking initiative cannot be told, only learnt. Asking yourself, “how can I further value-add to this?” is the first step towards honing this skill as a young professional. Good employees simply complete their assignments, nothing more. Great employees take it a step further by including their ideas for consideration. When you go the extra mile, not only does it display initiative, but it also presents you as a critical thinker who has something to offer. No promises, but this could result in higher remuneration and other work benefits.

2. Practise People Skills

Employees set the culture of a working environment. Whether you believe it or not, your presence adds to the office dynamic. Nobody wants to work with someone with a nasty attitude no matter how great they are at their job. On top of work stress, “people stress” is another huge factor in every office environment. Take time to know and build relationships with your teammates.

You do not need to be their best friends and plan weekend brunches together, but basic courtesy goes a long way. Never underestimate the power of a simple “Good morning” and “How was your weekend?” Striking little conversations is a huge bonus. Of course, be smart to pick the right time and space to connect. For starters, you could set aside time for lunch with colleagues. Who knows, when you find yourself in a pickle, you might just need a friendly face to help you out.

Great employees take it a step further by including their ideas for consideration. When you go the extra mile, not only does it display initiative, but it also presents you as a critical thinker who has something to offer.

3. Accept Spontaneity 

The reality of life is the inevitable curveballs that are going to be thrown your way. Being flexible and quick-thinking will allow you to emerge victorious from these challenges. Individuals who are ready to handle difficulties and unanticipated events with a good attitude are rare and hence, greatly treasured in every office space.

Accept spontaneity as an opportunity to be creative in your problem-solving skills. Rising to the occasion (sometimes even when your manager needs to take a minute) will be a huge asset to your team, as well as, your own personal growth. 

4. Be Independent 

We have heard the phrase that ‘time is money” and this rings true especially in the corporate world. The reality of work-life might not always have the perfect orientation to get you into the rhythm of things. Being proactive and sourcing for information on your own will save your manager valuable overtime. Independent learners who are self-motivated are highly recommended and greatly significant to any organisation.

With that being said, do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. One of your manager’s core responsibilities is to guide and groom you in your journey as a young professional. This includes sharing his/her professional experiences and promoting knowledge-transfer. It is all about balance. Make your presence profitable for both your employer and yourself. 

5. Ask For Feedback

Communication is key. Maintaining a flow of feedback is good for any working relationship. Staying aware of areas for improvement allows you to better meet the expectations of your manager and at the same time, provides you with a clear understanding of what is required of you in this role. Do not wait for your work review to talk about your tasks because that might be too late for you to make positive changes to your performance.

Periodically, as you submit assignments, include a little post-it or add an extra line in your e-mail asking for “thoughts for improvement”. This shows that you are striving to be the best version of yourself and looking for ways to further benefit your company. 

6. Meet Deadlines

As mentioned earlier, time is money. Punctuality is key to maintaining a good professional demeanour. It is advisable to plan a buffer period before every deadline for any last-minute changes that might need to be effected. Allowing room for the inevitable always comes in handy. Instead of rushing against time, you can work at a steady pace with peace of mind knowing that you are still on track and timeline.

More than project deadlines, always stick closely to your schedule and meeting times. Even if your manager is running late, it does not give you permission to show up late too. Being present and prepared demonstrates commendable conduct. Furthermore, it contributes and creates a work culture where everyone is respectful of each other’s time. 

7. Schedule Courses

Many companies offer paid opportunities for employees to enrol in courses to upgrade their skills and work competency. You can choose from a range of topics of interest which are usually (and should be) aligned with your company’s goals and objectives. Oftentimes, these mini workshops are held in fun and conducive venues. In addition, you get to connect with other like-minded professionals from similar industries with whom you share similar interests.

This allows you to break away from the dull monotony of work and broaden your social network simultaneously. What’s better than killing two birds with one stone, right? Gleaning from the myriad of knowledge and work leaders out there is a great way to sustain a life-long learning attitude. Inject some inspiration into your job by learning from other experts in the industry. There is always something more to learn.

Just like that, you become indispensable to any employer! We hope these seven foolproof tips enable you to put your best foot forward in any business setting. Remember, these are not hard and fast rules to climb the corporate ladder. Take time to learn your company and familiarise yourself with their needs.

Being an asset in any company begins with you investing valuable time and effort. Employers are looking for potential, not just polish. Happy working! 


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