5 WAYS TO BE INVALUABLE AT WORK
Being invaluable at work is not only essential to advance your career, but it will also help you enjoy your work more. This is because if you feel like you are contributing to your company’s success, you will feel more satisfied and motivated to do your job.
They shared tips and personal stories about why these five skills will help you become invaluable at work and how you can apply them right now. This Soulcast Media | LIVE event is brought to you by our amazing sponsors at Sabobatage.
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Learning how to be invaluable at work will help you secure your position and give you opportunities to advance in your career. During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Maya shared ten skills to help you become invaluable at work. Most of these skills are soft skills. Soft skills relate to how you work, such as your communications, interpersonal, and listening skills. The first part of this two-part series can be read here.
Below are the skills Maya shared to help you become invaluable at work.
1. Master Influencer
Being a master influencer means you can shape and transform the thoughts and behavior of others. You can work with and through others. Understanding how to influence, not manipulate, is important for career success. No matter what industry you are in, you will have to learn how to effect change and influence those around you.
There are a few ways you can increase your influence.
- Relate To Others – Relating to others means getting to know them and understanding their perspectives. When people feel seen and heard, they will be more likely to trust you. And trust builds influence. For example, if you are leading a team, take time to get to know each person. You can dedicate a few minutes before your meeting begins to ask about what everyone did over the weekend. You can also have an open-door policy on Fridays where you listen to any issues happening within the team.
- Clear And Authentic Communication – Influencing people requires clear and authentic communication. This means making sure the intent of your message is heard by everyone listening. When people believe what you say, they are more likely to follow your lead. In our e-course, The Art Of Communication, you will learn how to communicate your message authentically.
- Build Relationships – Relationships are crucial to being a master influencer. This is because if you have strong relationships with others, they are more likely to trust you and your decisions. For example, before you pitch your ideas to upper management, you will first want to get to know them. This means increasing your visibility, and going the extra step to get face-to-face time with them. In our LinkedIn Learning e-course, Building Your Visibility As A Remote Leader, you will learn how to increase your visibility so you can build those important relationships.
💡We recommend the e-course “Speaking Up At Work” to help you hone your communication skills and learn how and when to speak up.
You will have maximum influence when you can relate to others, authentically communicate, and build relationships.
2. Mastering The Art Of Managing Up And Across
It is much more than simply managing your direct reports when you become a manager. You will also need to understand how to interact and manage those in a similar role, but perhaps in a different department. This skill is important for your career because it shows you can collaborate and influence your peers and those with whom you report. In this case, you can move projects and initiatives forward that are aligned with organizational goals and objectives.
There are a few key things to keep in mind as you navigate managing up and across:
- Understand Working Styles – To manage up and across, you will need to know how people work. This means taking into consideration the different working styles each person has. For example, if your colleague likes to communicate via email, trying to get them on the phone probably isn’t the best idea. Or, if your superior likes to get weekly updates from the team – make sure you are getting them those updates on time. In this way, you can adapt to each person’s working style. This will go a long way to building positive working relationships.
- Know Their Goals – Do you know the goals of your superiors and cross-departmental colleagues? This is important because when you know their goals, you can tailor the information you give them during meetings and updates. For example, if you know your superior’s goal is to wow the shareholders with an extensive year-end presentation, you can assist your superior with this task. In this way, you show your commitment to the company, and the importance of your superior’s goal.
- Be Proactive – Being proactive means taking the lead and taking steps to get things done without being asked. This can also mean alerting your superiors, and cross-department colleagues of important information right away. For example, if you’ve just found out there is a major delay in production, it is better to let everyone know who might be affected right away.
💡We recommend the e-course “How To Manage Your Manager” to help you learn to cultivate positive relationships with your managers.
Managing up and across really comes down to maintaining positive working relationships.
3. Extreme Accountability
During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Maya emphasized the importance of extreme accountability. This means believing you are in control of your career and taking responsibility for every aspect of it.
To make extreme accountability a habit, consider the following:
- How You React – You may not be able to control what happens to you, but when you practice extreme accountability, you control how you react. For example, if your co-worker decides not to finish their part of the team project, you can choose to respond in two different ways. You can either do nothing and let the project fall through because it wasn’t your mistake. Or, you can decide to put in the extra work to ensure the project gets done on time. Letting the project fall through won’t help your career. You could blame your co-worker for that, or you can take responsibility and believe you still have control of your career.
- Admit Your Mistakes – Admitting you’ve made a mistake is not easy. However, you will be more respected and trusted if you admit when you’ve made a mistake. This means not making excuses or trying to blame someone or something else.
- Take Responsibility – Taking responsibility helps you practice extreme accountability. When you take responsibility, you take ownership of your career. For example, if you were passed up for a promotion, ask yourself, “how can I put myself in a better position to get the promotion next time”? Instead of thinking your company is to blame, take responsibility. Look at you getting a promotion as your obligation and no one else’s.
💡We recommend the e-course “Holding Yourself Accountable” to help you learn how to create accountability habits.
The more you recognize how you solely determine your career success, the more you can focus on creating opportunities for yourself.
4. Becoming A Planner
Becoming a planner means having an actual plan for your career. This means creating a concrete checklist of what you plan or want to accomplish. This can be as lofty as you wish.
As you work on becoming a planner, consider the following:
- Write Things Down – The most important thing is writing down your career goals. The reason this is so important is when you write down your goals, you are able to focus on each step as you go. The more you focus on your goals, the more your brain will find opportunities to realize your goals.
- Set Deadlines – Once you’ve written down your goals, make sure you set deadlines for each one. This means putting a time frame to accomplish the goal. For example, let’s say your goal is to get certified as an actuary. You can set a deadline for passing your certification exam by May 15th. The deadline will push you to sign up and study for your exam. Setting deadlines brings focus to your goals and makes you accountable.
- Actionable Steps – To make sure you reach your goals within the timeframe you’ve given, you have to create actionable steps. For example, let’s say your goal is to publish a book. The actionable steps you write down could be: write 40 pages per week, finish the first draft in six months, finish the second draft in eight months, reach out to publishers, and send manuscripts to potential agents. In this way, you are giving yourself guidelines on accomplishing each goal.
💡We recommend the e-course “Creating A Career Path” to help you learn how to write down specific steps to reach your career goals.
Becoming a planner requires writing down your goals, setting deadlines, and making actionable steps. The more you practice this, the more you will realize your goals.
5. Creating The Habit Of Tracking Your Success
This means periodically writing down your wins. The wins don’t have to be huge, they can even be emails with positive feedback. Tracking your success will help you see how far you’ve come, and stay positive as you chase your goals.
There are two reasons this is important for career success.
- Remember Your Successes – When you write down your successes, you will quickly recall career highlights. For example, if you are in charge of sending a year-end report to shareholders, you will have readily available all of the information needed. Or, if you need to update your resume, or professional profile – all of your accomplishments will be easy to find.
- Change Your Mindset – When you take the time to remind yourself of what you have accomplished, it will motivate you to keep going. For example, you can create a folder in your email with positive feedback you’ve received. Then, if you happen to have a challenging day, you can always refer back to your emails. This will motivate you to keep doing the things that brought you success.
💡We recommend the e-course “How To Make Work More Meaningful” to help you learn how to track your weekly successes.
Tracking your successes will help you maintain a positive mindset and continually focus on your goals.
In the end, learning how to be invaluable at work will help you accelerate your career. By focusing on creating good working relationships, creating career plans, keeping yourself accountable, and keeping a positive mindset, you will help yourself find career success.
If you would like to see the full LIVE version of Jessica and Maya’s conversation, check out Jessica’s Youtube Channel.
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