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.