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Are You Job Smart?

Being job smart means you know what it takes to do the job. You respect your employer, co-workers and customers and do your part to make your workplace a positive one.

When you’re job smart you tend to feel more secure in your work. You won’t necessarily always have the same job, but you have the skills to keep a job and succeed at it.

Holding on to a job and doing it well

  • boosts your confidence and gives you a sense of accomplishment
  • gives you a steady pay cheque
  • increases your chances for pay raises and promotions
  • lets you develop your skills and learn new ones
  • earns you a good reference from your employer when you change jobs

To grow your job smart skills, bring your positive attitude to work and look for ways to exceed your employer’s expectations whenever you can. You’ll stand out for the right reasons and demonstrate your value to your employer.

Here are some surefire ways to get started:

Staying positive

Develop a reputation for being an easy person to work with:

  • Be friendly, supportive and co-operative. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated.
  • Grow your communication skills. Give people your undivided attention when they’re speaking, avoid interrupting and make sure you understand what has been said before you respond.
  • Avoid gossip and discussions that you would not want repeated, especially criticizing your employer or co-workers. If you are asked for feedback, make it constructive and share it in a private setting.
  • Be flexible and open-minded. Realize that there are many ways to view a situation and people are entitled to their own opinions.
  • Stay relaxed, patient and polite. People respond more positively to respect than to sarcasm and anger.

Thinking team

Being a co-operative team member sets you up for success:

  • Support your team by completing your work as productively and effectively as you can.
  • Ask for help if you need it. Your team’s success depends on your performance.
  • Learn how to do some of your co-workers’ tasks. When the need arises, you can offer to fill in for them.
  • Get involved if you see an opportunity to help complete a project. Helping your co-workers and supervisor succeed at their jobs can be a good way to succeed at yours.

Taking responsibility

Taking responsibility for what you do and how you do it shows your employer that you’re reliable and trustworthy:

  • Dress appropriately for the job. Consider the type of work you’re doing, how your co-workers dress and the company image.
  • Look and act confident. Speak clearly and loudly enough to be heard. Look at people when they speak to you.
  • Use your time appropriately. Be on time for work. Avoid taking extra-long coffee breaks, looking after private business while you’re on the job, or spending too much time socializing.
  • Be productive. Keep your work area neat and clean. Plan ahead and do the most important tasks first. When you’ve finished one task, move on to the next without waiting to be told. Finish high priority work even if you must sometimes skip a break or stay past quitting time.
  • Let your employer know if you’re going to be late or absent, and use sick leave only when you’re sick.

Setting standards

Meeting or exceeding work standards, quotas and deadlines goes a long way toward earning you a reputation as a valued employee:

  • Do good quality work and an appropriate amount of it. Be a person who always gets things done, and done well.
  • Make sure you understand instructions and follow them precisely when you’re working on a new task. Ask your supervisor to check if you’re doing the task correctly.
  • Check your work before handing it over. Don't hesitate to do a job over if you think it might not be up to standard.
  • Be open to new ideas about how you can improve your work. Learn all you can from your co-workers and supervisor. Keep learning, both on and off the job.

Bringing your “job smarts” with you to work will help you make the most of every day on the job, increase your job satisfaction and open up opportunities for you to succeed.

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