Hard work alone won’t guarantee a successful career. Although the phrase “work smarter, not harder” has become a cliché, you can flourish in your workplace by focusing your efforts on smarter strategies. Keep this advice in mind:
- Challenge yourself. Take on projects that force you to learn new skills and confront important challenges. You won’t get anywhere doing the same job over and over.
- Over prepare. Take time to plan. The more information you have at the start of a project, the better you’ll be able to deal with problems and obstacles.
- Listen. Don’t do all the talking. Make a point of asking questions and paying attention to what co-workers, bosses, and customers have to say. Listen to the advice they give you. Learn as much as you can from the people around you.
- Know who your friends are. Don’t assume that your co-workers are all on your side. This may sound cynical, but remember that other people have their own agendas. Be discreet and keep relationships on a professional level.
- Be positive. Bosses and co-workers like to work with colleagues who are cheerful and upbeat. Project a positive attitude in everything you do, even when problems erupt.