Good Job Habits
ATTITUDE AND RESPECT
Just like you, customers, coworkers, and supervisors all like to be treated
well and with respect. Part of how you are treated depends on how you treat
The way you approach your work and your coworkers can affect how
you feel about your work and yourself. A positive attitude can make your work
more enjoyable. Pleasant people generally make other people feel good. Think
about a good experience you had at the bank, the movies, or the Post Office.
If the server approached you with a positive attitude, you felt that you would
receive good service. The server listened to you and you had a successful
transaction. When you walked away, you felt satisfied. Now think about a bad
experience you had. If the customer representative was rude or ignored you,
you felt defensive and angry. The server could feel your hostility and got
angrier himself or herself. If you had any kind of problem to resolve, the
server probably exhibited hostility towards you, even though he or she "started"
it. When you walked away, even if you got the result you desired, you probably
were still angry.
Just as you feel anger and hostility from other people, they can feel it
from you. If you feel that someone is approaching you with anger or hostility,
you feel defensive. Your relations with your customers, coworkers, and supervisors
will be easier if you approach them positively. You do not have to paste on
a false smile to get your job done. Just be satisfied with yourself and with
your job performance and that attitude will be what people feel and reflect
back to you.
Treat other people just like you want them to treat you. This respect
for others and their feelings will reflect back to you. Remember that you
have to earn respect from others. It is not automatically given. When you
are working, make sure that good ideas are credited to the people who created
them. If you make a mistake, admit it. Use that mistake as a learning experience
and your job skills will improve. When you are at work, you should use language
that would be accepted by your mother, by your clergy, and by your favorite
teacher. Make sure you observe other people's personal space and ask before
you use any of their things. Unless issued as a tool to carry out your job
duties, weapons are never welcomed at legitimate workplaces.
We live in a digital world, where photos and other content are published online for the world to see. What you might find acceptable might not be acceptable to your employer. If you think your digital photos and writings are for your eyes only, think again. Many employers access applicants' Facebook and MySpace pages as part of the hiring process. Some continue to check your page once you are hired.
Your online postings say a lot about your judgment. It sends a bad signal to your employer if you think it is okay to post inappropriate content. These types of postings could prevent you from moving up in your company. Depending on what you post, you could even be fired. Your actions represent the organization you work for. So think twice before you post your party pictures or rants about your pet peeves online.
Tips for Working with Others
Here are some ideas for getting along with your fellow employees and making
your work a bit easier.
- Do a Good Job
You will feel positive. Others will respect you.
- Make a Good First Impression
First impressions last for a long time in people's minds. If you make a good
impression, people will think positively about you and want to work with you.
- Respect Others
People will respond by respecting you. You will feel good about yourself.
- Keep a Positive Attitude
Time will pass more pleasantly. People will be more positive towards you.
- Admit Your Mistakes
You will learn more and be better at your job. Others will respect you.
- Let People Know Whose Idea It Was
If you give credit where it is due, others will do the same for you and your
- Use Appropriate Language
People will use appropriate language around you. You will feel better about
yourself and your coworkers.
JOB HABITS TO KEEP YOU EMPLOYED
Working for someone else implies a contract between you and your employer.
You provide skills and abilities and your employer provides pay. This is called
a labor exchange. Remember that you got this job by promoting yourself as a
productive worker. You have agreed to use your skills, your ability to learn,
and your willingness to help your current employer succeed. You will be evaluated
as an employee while you are working. The following information can help you
stay gainfully employed.
- Be Pprepared for Work
You were hired because the employer felt you had the skills and abilities
needed to get the job done. You will now need to prove to your employer that
he or she made the right choice in hiring you. It is important to start a
new job with a good attitude and thorough preparation. One way to prepare
for a new job is to list any issues or problems you have that may affect your
employment. Then, list a solution to the issue or problem. Use the Problem
Identification form for listing this information. Review the form
and follow the steps you listed in order to be best prepared for your new
- Develop Good Work Habits
The first things that employers will look at are your job habits.
Before they can assess your actual job skills, they will see how you fit into
the organization. Here are some key habits to keep in mind:
- Be on Time
The first thing that an employer
sees about you is when you arrive at work. It is important to arrive at
work when the employer has scheduled you to begin the workday. Your coworkers
also rely on you to show up to work on time, whenever you are scheduled.
- Keep Your Employer Informed
If you will be late or miss work, call your employer. Every workplace
has people just like you. Employers will understand if you are sick or need
to arrange emergency care for any child or adult in your care. They will
not be as understanding if you fail to let them know why you did not show
up for work or if you do not tell the truth about your absence.
- Work Diligently
Make sure you provide a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. Conduct
your personal business on your breaks and outside of work. Do not use work
phones or computers for personal reasons.
- Wear the Proper Clothing
Find out what kinds of clothes are acceptable at your work. Most
employers want your clothing to be appropriate for the job and to be clean.
What you wear should not impair your ability to carry out your job or interfere
with your safety. Some workplaces require formal office wear (e.g., suits,
ties, dresses). Some employers will provide uniforms. Some employers will
be more informal. Before you wear jeans and t-shirts to work, observe what
people wear during your first week of work. (This could be a good question
to ask potential employers at your interview.)
- Work Safely
Keep safety in mind when you are working. Develop habits on the
job that will avoid accidents for you and for fellow workers.
- Schedule Time Off
Arrange time off with your employer if it will be necessary to
be away from work for appointments or vacation days. Employers appreciate
advanced knowledge, because they can schedule someone else to cover your
duties. Employers will not be happy to find out that you knew before your
absence that you had to be away from work. Find out what your employer's
policies are about time away from work.
- Don't Abuse Your Breaks
Your employer offers break and lunch times for you and your coworkers.
Find out how many breaks are offered, how long they are, and when you should
be back at your work area.
- Ask Questions
If you do not understand something, ask for a better explanation.
Employers expect new employees to ask for instructions and demonstrations.
Employers would rather spend a little more time to train you than to spend
a lot of time to correct errors.
- Find out About Workplace Rules
Many employers have formal employment rules. These rules are often
presented in employee handbooks, written policies, and procedural manuals.
Get copies when you first start working and learn the rules.
- Leave Weapons at Home
Most employers assume weapons at work will be used offensively
against coworkers. Some employers may fire people for carrying weapons.
Just the fact that you carry weapons can be used against you.
- Do Not Use Drugs and Alcohol at Work
You can focus on your job duties and do them well. Your health
will be better. You will not have to worry about getting caught and having
a criminal record. A criminal record can eliminate you for consideration
in many jobs. In addition, your employer's good name will be protected and
your employer will not be legally liable for your disregard of the law.
- Stay Away from Problem Employees
Some people tend to be negative about their jobs. Others may do things against
the rules, waste time, or in other ways are not good workers. Spending time
with these people will affect your performance. Your coworkers and supervisors
may begin to see you as a problem. Be friendly, but do not socialize with
people like this more than is necessary.
- Manage Children and Other Family Members
Although children or other family members may be the most important part
of your life, they are not the concern of an employer. Make sure that childcare
arrangements are in place prior to accepting a job. If your children are
in school, arrange childcare so that you do not miss work when they are
- Be Yourself
Be natural, friendly, and show respect to your coworkers and supervisors.
Show confidence in the way you present yourself, and don't forget to smile.
- Be Willing to Take on Additional Responsibilities
Try your best to do something extra when you are asked. Volunteer for tasks
that allow you to learn something new.
- Dealing with Your Supervisor
All employers want their employees to succeed. Your boss or supervisor is
one of the most important people at your work site. This person will help
you learn your job duties and evaluate how well you do them. In general, supervisors
want you to do well. Keep a positive attitude towards your supervisor. Think
of your supervisor as the direct link to your employer and as your coach.
This person is a resource for you. Treat them well and they should treat you
- Dealing with Your Coworkers
Very few people work entirely alone. No matter what kind of work you do, you
generally have to interact with other people, whether they are coworkers or
customers. Remember to treat these people with the respect and good attitudes
you would like people to show to you. Cooperation and courtesy are very good
ways to get your job done well.
- Improving Yourself
Your output at work depends on your skills and abilities. Like many things
in life, your job will depend on what you put into it. Generally, your satisfaction
(and that of your supervisor!) depends on the quality of the work you do.
Keep your job interesting by improving your current skills and by learning
new skills. Keep your career goals in mind. Find out the skills needed for
other jobs at your place of business. You may have those skills and can apply
for those jobs. If you do not currently hold those skills, pursue any opportunities
that can help you develop them. This includes training provided either at
school or at work.
There are many ways to keep your job performance at a high level. Think about
the whole task. Break that task into separate activities. Decide which activity
needs to be done first, which needs to be done second, and so on. Keep the ultimate
goal of completing the whole task in mind when you are doing each individual
Listen to what your supervisor asks of you. If you do not understand
what is requested, ask for clearer instructions. While your supervisor may
be managing the job as a whole, you are responsible for your own performance.
Make sure you know what is required of you before you leap into action.
Use Resources Wisely
Think about all the tasks that you have to get done and assign priorities
based on the resources and abilities of your employer, your supervisor, your
coworkers, and yourself. Resources include other workers, time, equipment,
supplies, and energy. Sometimes working with other people can help you get
your task done faster and with less effort. Sometimes you can finish the task
more quickly by yourself. Learn to know the difference and be able to ask
for help when it is needed.
Assess your strengths and weaknesses. What can you do easily and
correctly? What takes more time? Determine if training can help. Training
can be formal, offered by a school or the employer's training department;
or it can be informal, when you learn from your supervisor or fellow worker.
Let your supervisor know if a task requires activities that you need more
time to learn. This way, the time schedule can be adjusted or training can