Yesterday we gave you six slices of slightly unusual, yet practical career advice – and today we are going to follow it up with some more advice. However, this time the advice is a little less practical and more about using soft skills, empathy, and understanding to advance your career. While practical matters such as improving work processes are great, you shouldn’t forget the other side of building a great career. This side of things includes building relationships, showing some respect for others, and even knowing your own failings. So, without further ado, here’s six slices of soft skills advice to advance you through your career (or apprenticeship).
This is especially important if you are in a new job – go to lunch with colleagues or maybe even meet up after work now and again. If you don’t ever go, people will stop inviting you and you can become an outsider. It is much better to be part of the crowd at work, but be careful, stay professional even when you are out with people from work – you don’t want to undo all your good work by making a fool of yourself on a night out!
- Pay Attention
It is all too common to see people checking their phone while others are talking to them. Try to avoid the temptation to do this when at work – even if the person you are speaking with is boring. If you ignore someone who is talking to you at work you send a message that they, and possibly the job itself is unimportant to you. The same can be said for when people call you or send an email – try to be prompt and courteous when you respond.
- Help Others
Try to help others wherever you can. Obviously this doesn’t mean doing their work for them, but if you see someone is struggling with something, you may be able to offer some advice or a quick helping hand. Even if you don’t get anything in return right away, you are creating a positive and helpful image of yourself at work. Of course, if your boss needs help then you should be extra-ready to help out if you can!
- Show Some Respect
Showing respect at work means being polite to your colleagues, but also means respecting the working environment itself too. You and others will have to spend hours each day there, so keep it tidy, and clean. This includes any communal areas such as kitchens. This may not offer much in improving your career, but not doing this can certainly harm it.
- Be Thankful
Be polite and say thank you when others help you out. Remember that your employer doesn’t owe you anything, so don’t walk around with a sense of entitlement. Very few things will see you career stall like being rude and feeling that you are above being grateful.
- Know Your Weaknesses
While using your strengths to help others is all well and good, you should also be aware of your weaknesses. Work to get better in areas where you fall down in order to improve yourself. However, don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know something and look for help rather than trying to muddle through. The only thing is, when you do get help, pay attention (see above), so that you don’t have to keep asking the same things over and over again.