1. Be honest
If you are late don’t blame it on the traffic. Just say “I am sorry. I planned badly.” You will keep your integrity and be more highly thought of.
2. Receive criticism well
Don’t think badly of those who criticize you. Instead, listen carefully as you may hear what you need to know about yourself, and thank them.
3. Start conversations
Talk to people. Introduce yourself. Ask questions. Be interesting and interested. The person you talk to could be the one that hires you or connects you to a great opportunity. How do you do this? Practice. Practice. Practice.
4. Ask for what you want
Ask for a pay raise; an opportunity; the sales order. You know what is good for you. Ask for it. If you don’t ask others may wont know what YOU want. Practice with your family and friends to become at ease about asking.
5. Keep your promises
Only promise what you are absolutely sure you will do. Do not over promise. If you are asked to do something by a certain date and you are not sure if you can do it by then, give yourself extra time and say when you will do it by. And you may well do it sooner than they expected. They will be impressed. Doing what you say builds trust. Not doing what you say destroys trust.
6. Communicate well
Listen. Give your ideas and suggestions. Ask questions. Give feedback. Ask for feedback. Ask questions and ask for suggestions. Speak and write clearly to make sure you are understood. If you are speaking to a group face them; make sure you can be heard by the person furthest from you. Look at each person for a few seconds. That will involve them. If possible, do not have a table or lectern between you and your audience. They will feel a greater connection with you.
7. Be resilient
Try; experiment; risk; explore. The more you do the more you learn and the more you grow. Of course at times you will fail. Treat each so-called failure as a wonderful opportunity to learn. Then bounce back with renewed vigour and more wisdom. You will be unstoppable!
8. Develop good relationship skills
Many interviews take place over lunch or dinner. Learn and practice table skills: how to sit; how to hold your knife, fork or spoon… and not to eat with your mouth open or rest your arms on the table. A fast way to learn is to go to the finest restaurant you can afford and observe the other dinners closely. Just as a book is judged by its cover you will be judged by how you behave. Dress to the same standard as those you work with or who employ you. Show appreciation for others and what they say. If someone has an opinion different from yours, do not argue. Instead ask “How did you arrive at your opinion?” You are likely to learn something. If you wish you may ask them “Would you like to hear my opinion?”
9. Always strive to provide more value than what you are paid for
…and you will always be wanted.
10. Always be learning
Change is a constant. What you know today will be out of date by tomorrow. Be a constant learner reading about your area of expertise or interest. Make this a daily habit. Attend seminars and conferences. Speak with experts in your field. Ask for their opinions, ideas and recommendations. Teach what you need to know. This gives you a great motivation to learn.
Mix with people who know more and are more experienced than you. Make time for learning. As a start, give your TV away. That could fee up years of your life.
For you to have a grip of trends and changes in the context you are working in, keep up to date with what is affecting your employer and customers. In that way you will see new opportunities to use your know-how and skills.