Since 2016, I have worked in almost every workplace you can imagine. From strategizing SEO for a content marketing company to mentoring college transfer students, drafting manuscript reviews for a literary agency, to now, writing fun blog posts for Pulse Marketing, your favorite Temecula marketing company!
Special mention: I also hyped customers into buying limited-edition holiday soap, was a dog treat star baker, and brewed more boba milk tea than I can remember.
After reflecting on these experiences and setting into my career, I realized no matter where you work, workplace habits are essential to accomplishing the same goals: improving your work ethic, strengthening the bond of the team, and maintaining your overall well-being.
The first place to start is self-awareness.
Articulating your thoughts or emotions at any given moment, explaining your work process, and understanding how your coworkers feel and what a client needs are powerful strengths and skills. Self-awareness is the foundation of your work ethic and affects your ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with others as a whole.
Some great questions to start asking yourself are the following:
- Do I know my strengths and weaknesses?
- Do I know how to utilize my strengths?
- Do I know how to overcome and improve my weaknesses?
- Do I know how to best fulfill my role?
- Am I treating everyone around me with respect?
- Am I conscious of how other people feel around me?
- Am I proactive with everything I do?
Be empathic and compassionate to everyone–especially yourself.
You’re not helping anyone by being unnecessarily self-critical or too hard on yourself for whatever reason. It’s human nature to make mistakes, get overwhelmed by a project, or have bad days in the office. We all struggle in solidarity! What isn’t acceptable, however, is judging yourself for being a person despite conducting yourself with unapologetically high standards of work. While challenging yourself is great, it’s important to remember you should only put a healthy amount of pressure on yourself.
Always communicate openly, honestly, and respectfully.
Never assume people know what you’re thinking or doing and vice versa. During the age of technology, especially with Covid-19 having forced us to go online and remote in 2020, communication is more imperative than ever in the workplace. Plus, it’s a way we stay connected to one another. We’re not just squares on Zoom.
Practicing good communication between your team and managers results in keeping everyone on the same page and determines how you can all support one another despite working on different tasks; for example, informing your manager about a task’s status, voicing concerns, or even asking for more time to work on a project. Keeping this open dialogue with everyone prevents things from going unnoticed or unsaid!
Don’t take things personally. A majority, if not all of the time, a situation isn’t about you.
Stress is a part of the workplace territory just as much as the genuine camaraderie of your team. Remember that the majority, if not all of the time, things in the office are not about you–they’re about a project, task, or client. Accidents happen and you may get caught in the crossfire, but don’t take the words of another person as an attack on your character or professional abilities. Take a deep breath and process before reacting to anything said during a moment of emotional intensity. Don’t point fingers nor look for someone to blame, either. Instead, come back to a situation after giving yourself time to think about it. Consider someone’s intentions in addition to their actions.
Ask for help when you’re struggling. Don’t suffer in silence.
This is an especially important habit to develop when entering a new job. You want to come across as self-sufficient and competent as a first impression, and you don’t want to burden a manager with questions you may need to ask more than once. Truth is, however, you’re hurting both yourself and the team by not asking for help. It’s always better to fix a mistake that happens now rather than later! It can impact a team’s workflow if you do something wrong because everything you create together affects one another like a chain of dominoes. You’re not going to be reprimanded for not knowing how to do a task, wanting clarification, or being confused. It would only be a concern if it were an ongoing bad habit.
When you become caught up in your emotions, return to a place of rationality.
Contrary to popular belief, even in the midst of your emotions, you know better, and your reactions are a choice. While we can’t control every single emotion, it’s a childish excuse to say things just “happen”. Instead, take responsibility for your emotions by seeing them from an objective standpoint and moving forward from there. In my personal experience, if I could describe the process, I would say it feels like the right and left side of your brain literally and figuratively split in two. Over time, this habit becomes easier to develop because your emotions don’t change what the truth or reality is.
Be resilient aka push yourself, but don’t mistake it for burnout.
Your workday should look like this: grinding and hustling through a project, maintaining your high-quality standards of work, and then–taking a break before doing it all over again until you need another break.
Self-care is the number one thing that gets thrown out the window when you’re in work mode. Resilience isn’t about making yourself suffer past your limits to accomplish a goal, it’s the action of pushing through challenges and facing them to the best of your ability. At the end of the day, you know you won’t give up on yourself or your team!
Also, my personal philosophy about resilience? It’s basically bulldozing with care.
In closing, habits don’t become permanent overnight. But don’t worry.
We’re all working towards becoming better versions of ourselves, and it’s okay that personal development takes time. However, not being perfect never means you’re any less of a great employee! In fact, that demonstrates you’re determined to strengthen your work ethic to only improve from here.