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How to Be Successful at Work

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Most people are happier when they can be successful at work. Job success comes in many forms -- for example, achieving performance goals, getting a promotion or serving customers better -- and how you define success may be different from how your coworkers define it. No matter how you measure it, there are certain qualities you can cultivate that make job success more likely. For starters, you need the determination to be successful at work.

Understand your organization. Know the mission of the company and your role in carrying it out. This should be easy to do, but sometimes you may need to remind yourself to be effective and successful at work.

Take pride in your appearance, showing you take yourself and your job seriously enough to be clean and well-groomed. Behaving professionally is key to being successful at work.

Be reliable -- show up every day, be on time and follow through on commitments. This will gain the admiration and trust of your coworkers and clients.

Communicate well -- in person, on the phone and in writing. Choose your words carefully when you speak, and avoid saying "um." When you send a letter or email, make sure you've maintained a professional demeanor and checked for spelling errors and typos.

Be a good listener. You can learn a lot by keeping your ears open and your mouth shut. Focus on what people say. Recognize that people send messages with more than just words, so practice reading body language, too.

Identify knowledge gaps you need to fill and skill sets you need to acquire to be successful at work. Then commit to ongoing efforts to learn what you need. This makes you a more valuable employee.

Deliver solutions rather than problems. If you see something that needs fixing, propose a thoughtful solution or even fix it yourself if you can. A problem-solving attitude will add to your success at work.

Do what it takes. You may be required to work late or on a weekend or to travel when it's not convenient for you. If you are willing to get the job done, you'll achieve success.

Treat customers well. Approach clients as the valuable partners they are. Without happy customers, your company will fail. Your positive efforts with customers will help everyone succeed.

Cooperate rather than compete. Make your efforts visible when you can with doing extra work, offering good ideas and using best practices to make your team more productive. Make friends with your co-workers to facilitate cooperation and harmony at work.

Maintain a positive attitude, particularly in tough situations. This is not always an easy quality to have, but is an important asset in a successful employee.

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