caring, community, goals, inspiration, life, life lessons, Uncategorized, work

How to Be Successful at Work

Some people act amazed at those of us who are able to succeed in the workplace. No, it’s not easy either. Sometimes, even successful people fail too! And, no, I’m not successful all the time, or maybe even half the time. Ha, ha! However, just by observing people and how they work (or don’t work), I have found that almost every successful associate or manager has these traits in common:

  1. They work with a purpose.–Usually the people that work the hardest and are most successful have some type of motivation to work hard! I found that for myself at least, that when I keep both my professional and personal goals in the back of my mind while I’m working, the more motivated I am to do my best. However, if I get tired and am not thinking about these goals, I tend to do sloppy or half-hearted work. However, I think that this is true for anyone. You need to be motivated to work in order to be able to do your very best.
  2. This one is a duh, of course, trait, but they work hard!—Usually it is the people that go above and beyond the requirements of the job that do the best. I strive to do this everyday.  For instance, when we have to straighten the store, I try to not only go as fast as possible, but also as neatly and accurate as possible. Believe me, it’s not easy. For example, yesterday, while my straightening was very neat, I felt like I did not go fast enough for my standards.  The manager I mentioned in the previous post (in “Things I Learned From My Manager”) was able to move up in our company I think because of his hard work and tireless hours he has spent perfecting his skills. They are not usually lazy and don’t take shortcuts to succeed.
  3. They are able to endure a lot of suffering and/or abuse.—Working full time or beyond is certainly not for anyone, and that’s OK. However, if you can work, even part-time, I have found that the most successful workers are able to put up with a lot of bad stuff. I have shared in a previous post (this post) how I went two weeks working with sharp pains in my back and side, before I had to call off (because I started vomiting blood!), and how I almost died because my gall bladder almost burst!  Now, this job also involved some heavy lifting.  Also, many of my managers, in addition to getting yelled at for often trivial reasons, and sometimes working tired or sick, still manage to get a lot of work done!
  4. They strive to get along with everyone.–The most successful managers and associates strive to be kind and fair to everyone. The ones that don’t and have problems with many people are often the same people who get nothing done or distract others from getting their work done.  This includes in addition to being able to be unified with managers and co-workers, also getting along with customers or clients. They have a positive general rapport with people. Of course, everyone has their bad days, and there are times when even the best of us can’t be at peace with everyone, but we do our best.  They don’t cause people to fight each other, and they generally have a positive view of people and/or of the company in which they work.
  5. They make a serious investment in the people of the company, whether it be external or internal clients or customers.—External customers are people who you typically think of when you think of “customer”–those outside the company who you serve with your services. According to Wikipedia and a lot of other sources, “an internal customer is a customer who is directly connected to an organization, and is usually (but not necessarily) internal to the organization. Internal customers are usually stakeholders, employees, or shareholders, but the definition also encompasses creditors and external regulators.” (source: This trait is the one that I always strive to do better and better.  For instance, when we don’t have an item a customer is looking for, I try to give them other options, even shopping at other stores or online, not because I want my company to lose business, but so that the customer remembers how important I take their satisfaction and will shop at my store again because of the service they received.  Also, a friend and co-worker of mine also goes above and beyond the normal repertoire of an associate and often says, “Thank you for shopping at [name of our store]!” to make them feel appreciated and tries to even make small talk with them sometimes to make them feel like a person and not just a customer. I serve internal customers by helping them with their tasks when they need it and making them feel encouraged and appreciated by telling them as much. For instance, if my favorite manager Tom* (NOT his real name) is doing a good job, I make sure to tell him so and also to thank him for appreciating his workers, including me.
  6. They rarely call in.—The managers and associates who are the most successful almost always show up to work when they are supposed to.  If they call in, it is only because of family emergencies or when they are really sick.  The most successful managers at my company rarely call in and almost always are motivated to show up on time. Sometimes, they will even work extra hours to make sure all their work gets done.
  7. They are good at what they do.–This is why we should strive to find jobs that suit our abilities and skills! The most successful people at my job are almost always skilled at what they do, whether it is straightening, organization, customer service, getting things done fast and efficiently or all or some of the above.

10 thoughts on “How to Be Successful at Work”

  1. great tips! The one about having a purpose at work is critical – it makes a huge difference when people work with purpose vs. not. Would love a book recommendation on how we can hone these skills even more!


    1. The One Minute Manger by Spencer Johnson and Love Works by Joel Manby. These books are aimed mainly at people going into management positions, but could also be used for us associates too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, I was given this book when I first started managing a local shop, it really does help organise your mind into set goals and priorities.


  2. I really enjoyed reading this I find myself to be a hard worker, one that rarely calls in and works beyond the “call of duty.” I don’t mind working tons of hours because I love what I do and when you have passion and love what you do, then it doesn’t feel like work. I think this is the case with many people who have great work ethics. The issue lies when you don’t like your job or have issues with co-workers. Putting our ego in check at work is so key. In most circumstances it’s always better to be slower to speak and quicker to listen. Great post. I’m glad I found you via the FB group and am now following you. I look forward to reading your future blog posts.


  3. Great post!! I so agree about having a purpose and making an effort to get along with people. That goes a long way!!
    Cheers, SC //


  4. I definitely agree with the tip about working with a purpose. I think you can thrive in even the most difficult job if you’re doing something that is important to you!


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