Professional Development Tip: Being a Valuable Asset at Your Workplace

By Amariliz Sanchez (Clerk Typist, Clarion University – Venango)

Being a valuable asset to any workplace involves many factors that affect us in the workplace as well as in our personal lives. Below are three tips to keep in mind that have personally helped me:

Have a Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude attracts good energy and benefits ourselves, as well as the people around us. The truth is simple— no one wants to be around someone that complains all day. If we focus on the negative, chances are the problem may be with ourselves or the way we see the world. If this is the case, we should take a step back and analyze where we can start making small changes to have a positive attitude throughout the day.

For example, if you catch yourself about to complain, stop and ask yourself: “For what purpose am I stating the negative? Do I really want to make a difference or am I just complaining because I have nothing else to say?” We can also reflect on two positive aspects for each negative, so that we can put things into perspective. Having a negative attitude is a repellent to others and can lead to lost opportunities in life. Having a positive attitude will also decrease stress levels and lead to improving our overall health.

Appearances Matter
Even if we have the best attitude, the way we present ourselves is also important. Nonverbal communication goes beyond hand gestures and facial expressions—it entails the visual message we send by the clothes we wear. Think about the message we give when we wear comfortable loungewear compared to the clothes we choose for an interview. Without words, each outfit sends a different message.

Similar to our attitudes, first impressions leave a lasting effect on how others perceive us and, including how we dress in the workplace. The message we send to others by our appearance can also lead to new or lost opportunities in life. This doesn’t mean you must wear formal attire or expensive name brands. When we present ourselves in clean, wrinkle-free clothing that fits properly, we are sending the message we care about how we look, but also how we represent our workplace.

Maintain a Healthy Work and Personal Life Balance
Constantly working off hours? Checking emails at the dinner table? Signing up for one committee after another, without enough time for everything? This may seem familiar to many, including myself. In the past, I dedicated so much time to my work and didn’t realize I was missing out on quality family time. I found myself always thinking about my “work to-do list” and finding a reason to send “just one last email.”

This changed when I learned how to say “no.” When I made a clear separation in my schedule between work and personal life, I noticed things began to fall into place and I was able to find time for things that I truly enjoy.

When we take on too much because we are afraid of letting someone down, we end up overwhelming ourselves with too many projects and not enough time. Many mistakes are made because of this, and we miss out on important time with our loved ones. It’s important to find a healthy balance. We should take inventory of how our hours are spent and analyze where we should set clear distinction between work and personal life. Stick to this schedule one day at a time and before you know it you will see your productivity increase while still being able to enjoy your personal life.

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) November 2021 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

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