Kangan Institute Blog

Are You a Model Employee?

No matter how many times you’ve done it, starting a new job at a new place can be intimidating. Even if you’re confident in your ability to perform your job well, you don’t know who you’ll be working with. You don’t know what the office culture is like and you don’t know what your boss is going to be like.

Naturally, you want to start off on the right foot and show your bosses that you’re the right person for the job, but more importantly perhaps, you want to just fit in. Believe it or not, you can have the best of both worlds.

So what exactly does a model employee look like? You’ll learn plenty of new information at your job, but there are some things that just can’t be taught. Read on to get the best picture of the kind of employee you should be.

Go for it
You see a cool logo design on a website and create your variation of that logo for a product your company is marketing. The client hates it, but your boss is impressed anyway. Why?

Employees who take action and strike out on their own from time to time are favourites among employers. There are the types of people who aren’t afraid of failure or of what other people think. They embrace new possibilities and are creative when confronted with a problem.

The trick is to not let the fear of failure or judgment get to you. Will your ideas be rejected from time to time? Yes, more than likely. Still, that should never stop you from trying out new ideas. Even if one idea fails, it might be work for another project. You might figure out where you went wrong and tweak your idea to fit the needs of your company.

You’ve finished up your work for the day, but it’s only two o’clock. What do you do? You could just take it easy the rest of the day and catch up on a blog or two you’ve been meaning to read, or you could get started on some work for tomorrow. Which do you choose?

Hopefully, you answered with the second option. Model employees don’t need their bosses to hold their hands. They know what needs to be done and when it is due. When they run out of work, model employees find something else to do. Maybe you’ll go back and edit your work from today or maybe you’ll start planning ahead for new projects.

Your boss also doesn’t want to play 20 questions with you after he or she assigns you a new project. Of course, it is good to ask when you genuinely don’t understand something or when something is going wrong, but you should be able to look for answers on your own. Always try to find the answer yourself before asking for help.

Whatever you choose, stay busy. Show your boss that you don’t need to be micromanaged.

Be honest and modest
Honesty and modesty are often thought of as rare qualities in a person, but you should be proving them wrong.

No matter what, honesty is always the best policy. Even if you mess up, taking responsibility for a mistake will already lessen the tension. Your lies will always catch up with you so it’s always best to just tell the truth and get it all out.

Even when you do something right or get a raise or promotion, remember to be modest. It’s okay to be proud of yourself, but always be sure to thank your teammates as well. You don’t need to show off to be recognised. Be recognised for your ability to get the job done and get it done right.

Be a leader
You’re a new employee now and chances are, you know very little about your company. In a few months however, that won’t be the case. You’ll be accustomed to your workplace and it will feel as though you’ve been there for years.

When new employees are hired, it’s your chance to show off your leadership skills. Even if you don’t have seniority, make a point to introduce yourself to new employees in your department and offer to help them if they need it. Be friendly and kind, just like you would with any other co-worker.

Show your boss that you can be a leader. Speak up in meetings and be the one people come to when they need help. You’ll be surprised at how quickly people will look up to you.

Be open to the office culture
Every office in every industry is different and there’s no telling what you’ll be walking into on your first day. Some offices are more formal and insist on employees dressing appropriately, while others are more laid back and don’t have a strict dress code.

Wherever you end up and whatever you think about the office culture, be receptive to it. If your co-workers go on walks or take their 15-minute breaks together, join them once in a while. Make a point to befriend a few people and participate in any office events, such as barbeques or holiday parties.

Show them you’re passionate
It’s been said that if you love your job, then it’s not really work. You’ll find that this is probably true.
Whatever your job is, remember to always keep you passion for it alive. Sure, things happen, and sometimes, you’ll feel like you have the worst job in the world. Everyone does from time to time. Work through those moments and find ways to remind yourself why you love your job so much.

Let’s face it: there are plenty of people out there with the right requirements for your job. They’ve gone to college, taken the classes, done the right internships, but what sets you apart from them is your personality, your ability to take a few punches and get right back up with a smile on your face. Keep exhibiting these qualities, and your future will be bright.

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