Workplace Skills for Success

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To succeed on the job, having a few basic employment skills are necessary. These skills transfer from one job to the next, and they are important to doing any position well. Practice developing these skills to help make your transition to any new job easier.

Attitude

Your attitude on the job is one of the most important workplace skills you can have. Attitude encompasses many specific behaviors. For example, a good attitude means that you are always ready to do what you can to help your co-workers, and that you are cheerful on the job and that you ask questions to find out what you do not know. It also means you are consistently respectful in all circumstances, both good and bad, to co-workers and supervisors. A good attitude also means that you are a generally pleasant person to be around--you accept criticism as a way to improve yourself in your work and that you avoid gossiping and complaining.

Work Ethic

Work ethic is another broad skill that is important to doing well at work. It can mean coming to work a few minutes early every day instead of being late, not grumbling when you are asked to do something “beneath” you, staying late sometimes to get the job for the day done and working all your shifts. A person with a good work ethic also seeks out extra work or challenges. He may ask his boss what else he can do to make the company more successful, or just notice that the trash needs to be taken out and do it without making a big fuss. A good work ethic also entails having integrity in your day-to-day interactions with co-workers and supervisors as well as being a good team member or leader. Flexibility and adaptability to changing situations and circumstances are also important to employers.

Dependability

An employer needs employees she can rely on. She wants to know she can rely on them to come to work on time, to help new employees find their way around and to be generally helpful whenever the need arises. You should take only the allotted amount of time at breaks, stay at work until you are scheduled to leave, ask co-workers if they need help and be the person others can count on in general. Dependability can also mean that you can be counted on not to lose your cool when conflict arises, but that you can problem solve calmly to work through tough situations.

Willingness to Learn

An employee who shows a desire to learn more about the company or his job is more likely to be given challenges and projects to work on. They are the ones employers will send to trainings to learn new skills, to be promoted and to get raises. If you do not show initiative to do your job better or to want more responsibility, you may be seen as a mediocre employee. You may miss opportunities to gain professional certifications at the expense of your employer, learn new skills to take to another job or to do your current job better or to be promoted to a more prestigious job with more money.

Literacy and Numeracy

The ability to read and write is helpful in almost any job. In fact, it is required for many of them. In addition, simple math skills are a necessity in many positions. Adult education centers in almost every community offer training in adult basic education for a low cost or for free. (See Reference 1.) Computer and technological skills are also important. (See Reference 2.)

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