CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MAY. 07, 2014
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How to Develop Strength as an Employee

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There is a difference between a weak employee and a strong one. Weak employees may not last long in their jobs and they won’t easily advance and receive promotions. So, what are the characteristics of weak employees? They are not teachable. These employees do not take action to better themselves, their skills and work ethic. They also do not commit to a decision to stay focused in their jobs and exceed as a professional. Make the most of the following tips in order to develop strength as an employee

Be Teachable

What does it mean to be teachable? You are open to constructive criticism and know that in life it’s about the journey not simply arriving. Having a teachable attitude allows you to realise that you don’t know it all and you need to continually learn every day. In order to develop strength as an employee, you must assess your own strengths and weaknesses and ascertain where you need more work. For example, are you more introverted but your job calls for you to be on the phone all day? If that is the case, learn to work on developing an outgoing personality and the ability to push passed your fears and social vulnerabilities.

In being teachable, it is also good to align yourself with a mentor who has experience in your professional field. Share your list of strengths and weaknesses with this person and ask for honest and constructive criticism from your mentor. Be open to receive his or her advice and learn to develop your strengths. John Boudreau shares some tips in his article on becoming a teachable employee.   

Take Action

Once you make a decision to become teachable, you need to take further action. Write out a plan of action. What are your goals—immediate, short-term, and long-term—for your career? Do you plan to stay at the same job? Are you interested in advancement in the company or seeking out another higher position somewhere else? These questions will require complete honesty on your part. You need to ascertain what direction you want to head in so that you don’t waste time on futile activities. Discuss these goals with your mentor. Career Advice Coach, Dorothy Tannahill Moran shares Top 10 Career Development Goals which can help you jumpstart your own goal list.  

Stay Focused

After you’ve created a plan of action, you need to stay focused. This is the time where the hard work begins. Ascertaining your strengths and weaknesses and your goals is easy compared to this step. You need to come to work each day prepared to actually work. Weak employees don’t treat their jobs with respect and only see it as a means for a paycheck and not a chance to grow as a person. Strong employees see the opportunity for growth in the everyday situations they find themselves in. You need to find opportunities for personal and career growth. Speak to your manager about new projects you can work on. Find a “work buddy” who has similar aspirations as you and is also interested in developing his or her strengths as an employee. You can be daily accountability partners with regard to the goals you both have created and seeing them through to completion. An article in Time Management Success lists 20 ways to stay focused. This article can assist you in getting more ideas to help you stay focused as you develop strength as an employee.  

Being a weak employee does not take much work. It is living with a just-enough-to-get-by attitude in life. If you want to find success and advancement in your career, you need to develop your strengths to become a strong and productive employee. Remember to be teachable, take action and stay focused.

 

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