Early in your career, professional habits are important to have but it’s hard to know which ones to have. Do you focus on networking, the tasks at hand, or keep to yourself with your head down? Creating good habits early in your career will get you that one step closer to achieving your career goals. Even if you are starting fresh in a new industry, these 12 professional habits are a solid foundation for anyone.
I’m all about shortcuts to success and learning from others, so today I’m going to share with you 12 professional habits to have in your 20’s I WISH someone had told me:
1 | BATCH SIMILAR TASKS TOGETHER
Oh, how this simple little technique has stopped overwhelm in it’s tracks. Instead of constantly jumping from one project to the other (it takes at least 15 minutes to get focused on the tasks), simply group similar tasks together. Got a lot of purchase orders to process? Do them all at once, rather than one a day.
2 | BANISH SELF DOUBT
Nothing kills career progression like self-doubt. When you doubt your ability, others can pick up on your lack of confidence and in turn won’t be confident in your abilities. Your first course of action is to stop the internal self-doubt and give yourself a break. Everyone starts somewhere and every successful career woman started art the beginning.
3 | DITCH PERFECTIONISM
If you wait until a project is perfect; you will be waiting forever. Trying to be perfect, which really is a myth, is an unfair expectation on yourself. Go out there and put your best foot forward even if what you have done isn’t perfect in your eyes, it’s a great opportunity to learn and grow.
4 | HAVE A KILLER LINKEDIN PROFILE
Linkedin is the professional version of FaceBook; and if you don’t have a profile, get one pronto. Almost all employers use it to search for candidates and its the perfect place to build up your professional profile. Haven’t got a profile set up yet? I’ve got you covered, read this article and get to work.
5 | LOVE THE DAILY GRIND
We all have goals and dreams, but it can be difficult to stick with them if we don’t get authentic results by loving the daily grind of pursuing your passions. It’s the ability to do the work, especially when you are bored or its challenging that separates top performers from everyone else.
6 | FOCUS ON THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT TASKS EACH DAY
When you have a million and one tasks each day and won’t have time to get a cup of coffee; work can get hectic and stressful. You have your manager screaming down your neck for the weekly report and can’t see a way you will ever get it done in time. Stop and focus on the 3 most important tasks each and every day. By focusing on those tasks that will move you forward and shorten your to-do list, you will get more accomplished and feel like you are moving forward.
7 | FACEBOOK PRIVACY
Simple one here set that privacy so your boss can’t see what you did on the weekend. When you are going for a new role, people will search for you on social media to try and gauge your character, the last thing you want is a picture of you in fancy dress popping up!
8 | MAINTAIN RELATIONSHIPS
You never know when you may need to call on someone for help… or even a reference. Stay in contact with old colleagues or teachers when you move onto new opportunities. Even a simple email to say hello to keep rapport.
9 | ALWAYS SEND A THANK-YOU NOTE AFTER A MEETING
I think every parent taught their children to have good manners and saying thank-you is a must when building professional rapport. Whenever I go for an interview, I always send a hand written card thanking the interviewer for their time.
10 | GET A MENTOR
The quickest way to learn something is to learn from others. This can be in the form of reading books or having a mentor in real life. Model those you want to be like.
11 | SHOW UP TO MEETINGS 5 MINUTES EARLY
Arriving at meetings at least 5 minutes early is key to showing your interest and that you are serious about what the meeting is for. Be professional and add a little extra time to ensure you arrive early, you never know when the bus will be late.
12 | RESPOND TO PHONE CALLS BY THE END OF THE DAY
… it’s just good manners!
Creating good career habits like batching and focusing on the 3 most important tasks were 2 professional habits that really helped my professional career. What professional habits will you implement today? Share in the comments below as I would love to hear your thoughts and help you on your journey.