Being an MVP (Most Valuable Professional) in Today's Workplace
Competition for top positions is at its peak in today's economy. More people looking to fill fewer positions means associates have to stay sharp and be willing to add to their existing skills. Companies are looking for people to provide an immediate return on their investment. There are many things you can do to make yourself a valuable asset to an employer. These strategies are worthwhile in any economic climate, but today's economy makes them more important than ever. Successful associates have employed these practices so often they become second nature, or what supervisors and evaluators refer to as "good work habits."
Willingness To Learn
Today's workplace moves at a faster pace with developments in communication and technology. Core skills are your foundation, but putting an "addition" onto a structure can increase its value. These additions are new skills you can learn that make you more valuable. They include computer software programs and any leading edge innovations in communication, such as being conversant in video conferencing and palm pilot technology. Those with a willingness to learn and follow-through to realize their goals will find an abundance of options.
Learning a new skill during an assignment should be done on your own time. AppleOne encourages our temporary associates to enhance their skills and your nearby office offers the AppLearn training system. AppLearn covers a variety of programs including Microsoft Word and Excel. Your Account Executive can give you specific information and discuss which skills are valuable in which capacities.
Keeping Busy and Focused
The surest way to make yourself a most valuable professional is to channel your energy toward keeping busy and focused on your assignment. After you complete a task, it's always a good idea to inform your supervisor that you are ready for another. Don't conduct personal business during your assignment. Personal phone calls, personal e-mail, and using a company's Internet connection for personal projects distract you from your work.
Setting goals to complete each day is the foundation for succeeding on an assignment. When you keep busy your day goes faster and you make a good impression on your supervisor. Take pride in your work and allow time to proofread and double-check your work. Being polite is another secret to professional success. Statistics show that clients prefer workers who contribute to a pleasant workplace.
It All Begins With Attitude
As a valued associate, it's important to remember that you are first and foremost a professional. Webster's Dictionary defines a professional as "characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession." This means that, as a professional, you maintain a demeanor and attitude that reflects the standards of your profession.
A large part of performing as a professional is your attitude. AppleOne associate Dana Carmichael says, "I recognized right away that temping had pros and cons and I focused on the positives. I had flexibility that salaried workers didn't and tried to approach going to assignments as a chance to learn in different work environments."
Armed with her new attitude, Dana began to excel. She took the initiative to learn new computer programs and add to her business skills. Just as important, she realized the value of maintaining contact with her Account Executive. "It's always good to keep up a dialogue with your Account Executive and to let them know if you're interested in
direct hire opportunities," she says. "When I wasn't in contact I let the quality of my work speak for itself."
Little Things Go A Long Way
In addition to taking big steps to make yourself valuable there are little things you can add to your arsenal while on assignment.
Items to Have On Hand Include:
- Extra AppleOne Time Sheets
- Detailed Maps
- Your Own Coffee Cup With Sweetener and Creamer
- Change for Vending Machines
Being valuable ensures that when challenging times hit companies you will be indispensable. Remember, the object is not simply to survive, but to thrive.
Proper Workplace Attire
Spring is in the air, and with weather warming up, associates should be conscientious of proper workplace attire. Dress-down Fridays, Business Casual, the growing list of clothing options blurs the line between acceptable and unacceptable dress. However, for all the confusion, there remain several guiding principals central to an appropriate work wardrobe.
If you ever have any doubt about dress requirements, don't hesitate to check with your Account Executive. They are happy to find out the best dress options for you from a client. Knowing what to wear helps you seamlessly fit into a company so you can concentrate on what really matters
--succeeding on assignment.
Recognize that no one style is appropriate in every instance. In a business office, you should wear dress slacks or a skirt, a blouse or dress shirt, ties if you are a man and hose if you are a woman. If you are in a casual environment, slacks or a skirt, a shirt with a collar even a sweater would be nice. However, those same items would seem out of place on the floor of a warehouse where jeans, a plain T-shirt and tennis shoes or boots are more appropriate. In any work environment, clothing must be clean, pressed, and free of holes. Hair and fingernails should be clean and neat.
Jewelry should be kept to a minimum. If you are uncertain about where to draw the line, adapt the rule of 12 which states that you should never have more than 12 separate articles of clothing visible. This includes shoes, socks, watches, belts, tops, jackets, pants, skirts or any other accessory or item of clothing.
Men should not wear earrings in the work place. Sleeveless shirts, open-toed shoes, mini skirts, hats, t-shirts with slogans or pictures, and eveningwear are not appropriate in a work environment. The image you project should always be professional and appropriate to your job. Make your first impressions count. The general rule of thumb is use your best judgment and wear clothes appropriate to the position.
Your Workplace Attire Should:
- Convey an Image of Professionalism, Authority, and Competence.
- Be In Step With a Company's Particular Business Culture.
- Make a Good First Impression and Show Self-Respect.
Specific Tips For Men
- Conservative colors to wear are blue, gray or black.
- Make sure khakis and dress shirts are properly pressed and free of holes.
- Earrings are not appropriate in the workplace.
Specific Tips For Women
- Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight. You might not be taken seriously.
- Keep jewelry to a minimum.
- Avoid wearing short skirts.
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