3 Ways to Get Ahead in Your Job by Being a Hard Worker

I’ve always known that I would have to work hard in life. I had no choice. There was no trust fund at the end of the rainbow, and I couldn’t count on winning the lottery. So, I had to learn to love hard work and learned how to prove myself in the workplace.

Now that I run my own business I expect that same work ethic from the people I hire. I’m guessing most small (and large) businesses do too. So, whether you’re working your first job or on your first day of a new job, there are some ways to prove right off the bat that you’re a hard worker.

  • Get to work early – Getting to work early shows your dedication to the job. It also shows you’re excited to work there and ready to hit the ground running. This also includes staying late sometimes, especially if the boss is working late. I have a friend who was working in a low level position in a company who always made sure he worked at least as late as his boss. She didn’t forget that when it came time for promotions, and he ended up running the whole department.
  • Be curious – This is an especially important trait for me as a business owner. It shows that an employee is eager to learn. It also shows me that they are a problem solver, which is extremely important to a small business. I don’t hire based on resumes, but having curiosity and being a problem solver is paramount. I like to hear new ideas, even if they don’t end up being used. I like employees to speak their minds, because that’s where you get new innovation.
  • Follow through on your promises – If you agree to take on extra work or go out of your way to make sure a project is done on time, make sure you are able to do what you say you’re going to do. It goes without saying that you should be accountable for the regular tasks you were hired to do. Make sure things are clear between you and your manager as to exactly what those tasks are, and re-evaluate them from time to time to make sure you’re on track according to what your manager expects. If you commit to it, make sure you are able to follow up. This includes making sure your co-workers know they can count on you.

Make sure that hard work is seen by your bosses and your co-workers. It won’t do you as much good if no one sees your hard work, so go out of your way to say hello to your boss when you get there early, leave late, and do extra tasks. It worked for my friend. And it can work for you.


Be Prepared for a Company Layoff

Nobody ever goes into a job thinking they’re going to be the victim in a company layoff. But it happens every day, and most people are totally blindsided by it. I’m not saying you need to be paranoid, but it’s better to be prepared in case it does happen, and there are some simple things you can do to keep you ahead of the game.

  • Build up your social media profile – The more contacts you have, the easier it will be to look for a job if you happen to lose the one you have. Post often and let people get to know you and what you do for a living.
  • Keep your resume up to date – You never know when a better job will come along, or simply an opportunity to give someone your resume who may be in a position to hire you. Keep all certifications and skills current.
  • Have business cards handy at all times – Even if you have a job, there’s no harm in giving out your business card. This helps you build up your network in case you ever need it. Stay in touch with people who give you their card.
  • Make friends with vendors – Vendors can be a good resource if you need them. They know what’s going on in other companies and who will be hiring and firing. Keep this contact info on your own computer or phone, so if you are locked out of your office due to a lay off in the future you will have it handy.
  • Keep association memberships up to date – This could be a rich source of contacts to know if you ever lose your job. Make sure you stay in touch with these people and attend meetings and conferences as often as you can.
  • Keep up your network of friends outside of the industry – Your best referral usually doesn’t come from the person at the top, but from someone’s neighbor, hairdresser, or mechanic.

Have you ever been blindsided by a company layoff?