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4 Secrets to a Happy and Productive Career

It’s a well-known fact that an organization’s success is linked to the workforce’s overall satisfaction and performance. And everyone knows that happy workers are more productive – it’s science. Experts note that workers need to be engaged, enabled and energized in the workplace to maximize loyalty, enthusiasm and a sense of well-being. But those are big ideas.Happy Employee

Innovative organizations have smart learning, training and development programs in place that boost performance and morale, all while speeding up productivity, enabling creativity and collaboration and increasing revenues.

But building your personal brand and enabling your own success isn’t a 9-5 job.  Here are a few ideas of what you can do on a daily basis to have fulfilling, successful professional career.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that learning tops this list. When employees have the opportunity to get better at their jobs and bolster their skill set, they become more efficient. If your employer offers access to instructor-led or online training programs, jump on them. Learning management systems are increasingly easier to use and available across countless mediums. The rise of contextual learning allows workers to participate in personalized, just-in-time educational experiences at their desks and via mobile devices in the field. With this kind of access, there is no excuse not to become a highly knowledgeable employee.

Start Early
This might not be what you want to hear, but some of the most productive people carve out a few hours in the early morning. This is a great time of day to work on some of your most challenging projects, before you’re buried in emails or stuck in meetings. The mind is fresh in the morning – even if it takes a cup of coffee to get things flowing – and nothing beats the feeling of checking a handful of things off your to-do list before lunch. The early bird truly does get the worm.

In a world of inescapable access to the internet, palm-sized computers and even a smart phone you can wear on your face – it’s easy to get lost in a wonderland of multitasking.  While we often pride ourselves on how many things we can juggle at once, multitasking really takes away from the quality of work we do. Focusing on one project or activity at a time will ensure that you’re doing your best work and meeting deadlines. Focus and organization go hand-in-hand. By eliminating the practice of multitasking, you’ll quickly experience how much easier it is to manage your work load. Laser-focused workers will wow their bosses and frazzled multitasking colleagues with their collected and efficient execution.

Find a mentor
The most creative, hardworking people didn’t get to where they are alone. Having a mentor is a major one-up in the workplace. While formal training is key to being a productive employee, the first-hand experience from a respected colleague is irreplaceable. Identify an admirable executive or manager with whom you have a working relationship and propose that they take you under their wing. A good mentor will help develop your abilities and experiences to lead you along your career path. Clearly voice your goals and ask for meaningful guidance. Most importantly, be a sponge – soak up all of the knowledge you can from your mentor. Don’t forget to be gracious. After all, this person is not only doing you a favor, but will likely have some pull in potential for promotions.

Bonus: Inspirational posters. Those work, right? Everyone loves a cheap reprint of a cat hanging from the limb of a tree or a climber summiting a mountain at dawn. If that doesn’t perk you up, then you might as well call it a day and head home.

What do you think? Do you have any secrets to add? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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