7 Personal Career Enhancement Habits To Guide You in Your First Year at Work

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These are 7 of my favorite basic career enhancement habits to help you enhance and create opportunities in your early career. However, in order for these tips to work, you need to put them in practice. Make them into a habit and you will see them work for you - almost instantly.

1. Read
You need to consistently continue reading even after you finish school. In fact there are more to read now than when you were in school.

What do you read about? For starters, read about the industry you are in. Grab hold of industry magazines and trade publications. Read what makes your industry tick, issues affecting it, the key players and what they are doing. There are plenty to learn in these publications. Also learn to read general business magazines and newspapers. Get a broad view of what affects people everywhere and where they live. Read about topics on people and society. Grab hold of psychology and sociology book. Learn about people and why they do what they do.

Read and build a wealth of knowledge. Reading gives you career enhancement and invaluable knowledge that no one can take away from you.

2. Race Against Yourself
Many young graduates when they think about career enhancement, they also think about competing with their peers. In this career race, while it is easy to believe that you are competing with the next person for that promotion, resist it. This race is with yourself. You are your own worst enemy. Not your competitor. If your career is a race, learn to better your own time, not just run faster than the next guy.

The rationale is very simple. If you focus too much on others, you forget your own shortcomings. So while you can outwardly beat your competitor, you forget to improve on yourself. Eventually, what will help you sustain this marathon is enduring values that take time to learn. For example, learning to manage time, taking initiative, taking personal responsibility for your own actions, learning to lead and so on. Career enhancement is always about what you can do for yourself.

3. Learn From Others
Observe and learn from others. Early on, learning about career enhancement is about observing the people around you - the successful ones and unsuccessful ones. What they did right to put them there and what did they not do enough to achieve more?

You don't have to make mistakes others have made. That way you can move faster and pay a lesser price. At the same time, learn what others have done right and model after them. Be open minded and know that not everything you know is right and sometimes there are people out there who genuinely wants to guide you.

4. Surround Yourself With Good People
Surround yourself with successful people. Successful people does not mean high ranking people, they can very well be your peer only. Get the best positive influence you can from them. There are a lot to learn from people who are good at what they do and more importantly people with good values and work/life principles.

5. Be Sincere
Learn from early on from experienced people in the workforce who can detect "fake people", avoid these "fake people". Learn to be true to yourself and be truthful to others. If you want career enhancement, lessen gossips – better yet, do not participate in it. Help colleagues genuinely and offer words of encouragement when the need arise. When you are sincere, benefactors appear to help you when you most need it.

6. Listen, Listen, Listen
You may not be used to the way some people talk you. They can be superiors from other departments or they can be your own bosses. But always make it a point to listen. Listen to the way people talk and what people are trying to say without judging the way they say it.

Sometimes, the way people say it may well be how they feel you can learn. When you listen, you are giving yourself a chance to learn and hence contribute to career enhancement.

7. Dress and Act Professionally
Sure, you would like to believe that people judge you for your ideas, thoughts and how you work. But equally important is how you dress. Learn what is the appropriate way to dress in your industry and department. First impression counts and keeping that first good impression is even more important.

Also,use proper language in your conversation and watch your verbal tics. Sit straight in meetings. Stand upright. Do not slouch. Conduct yourself with decorum and be courteous. Business people place importance in this and you are better off learning this early on in your career.

Career enhancement habits can be as basic as these. However, simple as they maybe, not many people put them into practice consistently. Make a positive change for yourself and create opportunities for yourself by practicing these positive career enhancement habits.
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