As an intentional employee, you should be the most desirable and productive employee around, radio and family counselor Randy Carlson says.
While the unemployment rate remains high, it's also true 90 percent of people who want to work have a job, Mr. Carlson says in his ongoing series "Intentional Living."
"Your goal is to be in that 90 percent, and you can do it," Mr. Carlson, president of Family Life Communications in Tucson, Ariz., said in a news release.
He offers seven suggestions for success:
1. Go the extra mile every day.
"Do more than you're asked and with excellence – ahead of time," he said. "Most people will only do enough to get by at work, and that's not enough in today's economy. Come in a little earlier and stay a little later than other people – not to impress, but to get more done."
2. Look for one thing today that would make your business more successful and profitable and then act.
"Because you're close to the daily action of the business you probably see areas of waste and inefficiency that if addressed would result in making the business work better," he said. "Be observant and act like a leader. Be specific with your observation and with specific suggestions for making the business work better. Be careful not to step on the toes of others as you do this. You'll only make things more difficult for yourself if you do."
3. Have a great attitude.
"When it's time to make cuts, the boss will make lay-off decisions based on several factors, but I can guarantee you that one of the most important factors will be attitude," he said. Bosses, and their bosses, notice who looks for their boss's wellbeing. "Great attitudes rise to the surface."
4. Sharpen your skills.
Keep your work skills and technology know-how up to date.
5. Share the toys.
"Team players are important to a successful business," Mr. Carlson said. Become an indispensable part of your team. He pointed out that 80 percent of the work is done by 20 percent of the people. "Be in the 20 percent."
6. Become a solution-focused employee.
"Anyone can find problems in the workplace, but the indispensable employee is the one that finds and acts upon solutions," he said. Bosses need problem solvers. "Solution-focused employees get noticed."
7. Learn to get along with other people.
"Robert Bolton, in his book People Skills, reports that 80 percent of people that fail at work do so because they can't get along with other people," Mr. Carlson said. "If you're not a 'people person,' learn to become one fast!"
The long and short of it: People who don't along with others get cut.
The economy is in recovery, Mr. Carlson added, meaning it's an excellent opportunity for a new job.
"Commit to do whatever you need to do to pay the bills and keep food on the table," he said, "but it's also a great time to start building toward a time in the future when you'll be able to do what you really feel called to do and would love to do with your life. Don't get discouraged and give up – but work to do the next right one thing each day in your workplace."
To find additional encouragement and support from Mr. Carlson, visit Intentional Living.
Mr. Carlson, a licensed marriage and family therapist with a doctorate in counseling psychology, has appeared on national radio and television talk shows such as Good Morning America, Focus on the Family with Dr. James Dobson, and Moody's Midday Connection.
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