How do you define success? Respect, a promotion, a raise? However you define it, there’s probably a thing—or 15—you could be doing to bring more your way. In the spirit of 2015, here are 15 fantastic ways to bring more success to your current job, improve your own happiness and ultimately beef up your bottom line.
Who knew success could be so easy?
1. Work on your people skills.
Outgoing people who appear sociable, happy and lively (even if they really aren't) get more promotions, better jobs and more raises. Is it fair to introverts? No, but careers aren’t founded on fairness. Take a public speaking class, work with a life coach and start to practice active listening.
2. Look better.
This doesn’t mean you you should rush out for plastic surgery, but the truth is that attractive people are more successful in all aspects of their life (including professional). Spend a little more time getting ready, do your hair, take care of your skin, get manicures and enjoy the windfall coming your way.
3. Take continuing education classes.
Whether it’s free training offered by your employer or an Excel class you’ve been eyeing at the local community college - do it. And talk about it. It shows you take initiative, you care about your professional success, and that you’re just plain better versed at some tasks.
4. Go to happy hour.
…or whatever other function your company hosts. Success isn’t just about closing that sale. It’s about camaraderie at the office, fitting in and showing you’re not just a beneficial employee—you’re also a fun one (when the time is right).
Whether it’s of your own initiative (like asking your boss if you can head up a lunch walk group) or you’re first to respond when there’s a mass email asking for someone to join the diversity committee, get involved. It’s a chance to get to know higher ups and show off your philanthropic side.
6. Opt out of gossip and laziness.
When all your work peers are Facebook prowling, talking smack about the new VP, or generally being lazy, it’s easy to commiserate. Don’t. It’s a downward spiral and your goal should be camaraderie with people you want to call your colleagues, not your current ones.
7. Become indispensable.
Founder of seo platform Searchmetrics and friend Marcus Tober suggests "If you’re the only person at the company who knows cutting edge SEO, you’re a goldmine. Make sure your higher ups know about your skills, and showcase them when you can. This will make you indispensable to whatever company you're working for."
8. Be the last to leave 50 percent of the time.
Nobody’s going to know if you’re the first to arrive -- stick to walking in five minutes early each day. However, it’ll get noticed if you’re the last to leave, but you don’t want to look like you have no life. Two or three days per week, stay a little late (preferably when your bosses will notice).
9. Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise.
Why would your bosses pay you more when they don’t have to? Asking for a raise is an art, so practice and go prepared. You might be surprised by the answer.
10. Embrace pride in your job and company.
If you’re friends with your boss on social media (bad idea, by the way), never talk badly about the company. Showcase pride, but don’t make it obvious. Join groups, take part in the annual philanthropy event, and boast about your accomplishments on LinkedIn.
11. Take your vacations.
If you’re lucky enough to have paid vacations, take them. You’ve earned them. Use that time to re-charge and come back fresh and ready to work.
12. Take care of yourself first.
You may also have paid sick days, mental health days, and extra healthcare options with your benefits. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be successful at work. There’s no glory in coming to work sick and infecting everyone.
13. See challenges, not roadblocks.
It’s a fine line between criticism and constructive criticism. When there’s a hurdle at work, attack it and see it as a challenging learning experience. It’s not out to get you (most of the time), and complaining won’t put you in a good position.
14. Sign up for continuous training.
Just because you aced that training session a year ago doesn’t mean you’ve remembered everything. Ongoing training is crucial to doing your best work.
Choose happiness and a positive attitude. It’s contagious and will make you stand out in the right way.
Following these tips won’t guarantee success at your job, but it builds a strong foundation for it. Plus, it’ll make your work more meaningful and enjoyable. Now that’s a win-win situation.