How to Excel at Work: 13 Ways to Help Maximize Career Success

If you’re looking to excel at work and live up to your full potential, here are some best practices to get you started.

There are many points throughout any career where things may feel a little stagnant and dull. It’s important to pay attention to when this is happening and think about some ways that you can motivate yourself so you can find more enjoyment in your role and continue to progress both personally and professionally. Your attitude at work, along with the quality of your working relationships and the types of opportunities that arise for you, will determine your success in the long run. 

This article will take you through some unique ways of maximizing your career success by providing tips on how to excel at work.

Best practices for excelling at work

1Ensure you fully understand your company’s vision

When you take the time to fully comprehend the company’s vision, you can think about if this organizational vision is aligned with your values. The company’s vision will help you determine if the organizational culture and the structure of the organization can support you and your career aspirations. 

2Build a good relationship with your boss

Having a good relationship with your boss is essential if you’re looking to excel at work. Your working relationship with your boss is an important one that requires mutual effort. You need to take initiative and voice your wants, needs, and goals. In return, you want to feel supported and guided and know that you can trust your boss.

3Demonstrate excellent communication skills

Work on your communication skills and be sure to showcase them with every opportunity, whether this is through your emails, briefs, meeting notes, or phone calls; while facilitating a presentation; or as you contribute your suggestions or opinion in a meeting. 

4Take initiative and set a positive example

If you want to excel at work, you need to take initiative and set a positive example for others. The habit of taking initiative builds leadership qualities that will help you maximize your career success and build competencies in areas that interest you. 

5Be confident in yourself

Be confident in yourself—in your skills, abilities, expertise, and personality. When you truly believe in yourself, opportunities open up to you and you can act on them. Exude confidence but keep an open mind so that you’re continuously learning and growing. 

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13 tips for maximizing your career success 

1Learn to effectively collaborate with other team members

Collaboration is a skill that will support you and help you achieve more career success. Working well with others and being a team player creates amazing learning opportunities. Because team members all have different skills and abilities, as people come together to solve problems, it creates an environment where individuals can learn from one another and then use these new skills to achieve personal and organizational goals with more ease. 

With Fellow, you can create a shared meeting agenda and edit notes simultaneously. Once the meeting is over, you can send the meeting notes to all attendees to ensure everyone is on the same page!

2Ask questions

Asking questions is a fantastic way to learn and grow. It’s a way of building your knowledge and deepening your understanding of certain concepts or projects. It’s essential that you’re working with an organization that places an importance on giving team members the opportunity to ask questions at every meeting and every time a new project or plan is initiated. Know that only more clarification and a deeper understanding surface from asking questions, and this deeper understanding will help you excel at work. 

3Have a growth mindset

Develop a growth mindset to maximize your career success. This means creating habits that help you grow in your position and that will help you better understand the impact of your role. Having a growth mindset means optimizing your areas of strength by further developing them and also identifying areas of your job that are more challenging so you can work on them. Be open-minded, put in the effort and truly believe that there is no limit to learning and improvement. 

4Build confidence 

Build your confidence by working to strengthen your existing skills and by taking chances to step outside of your comfort zone. Recognize your strengths and focus on the positives of your job. Find opportunities to practice asserting yourself and push yourself to contribute to meetings and discussions. Confide in your boss or to your colleagues about any areas of your work that you don’t feel as comfortable or confident with so they can help guide and support you. 

5Set milestone goals

Set milestone goals that you can continue to work towards. This way, you can break down smaller tasks that are more accessible to achieve so that you’re continuously making progress and tracking towards those bigger milestones that will truly help you excel at work. Breaking down these larger goals means you are constantly working towards your career aspirations and therefore maximizing your career success. Make sure to meet your deadlines so you can continue to move closer to achieving your goals. 

6Enhance your emotional intelligence 

Work on building your emotional intelligence because it is a soft skill that will support you in building the skills and competencies that will help you reach your career goals. Building the ability to be more aware of your thoughts and feelings—as well as the thoughts and feelings of your team members—will help you be a better team player, collaborate more effectively, and build leadership skills, should you ever want to move into a management position in the future or to strengthen your current management skills. 

7Maintain a positive attitude

Maintaining a positive attitude will help you excel at work because it creates more opportunities. When you choose to look at the positives, go through your day with gratitude, and have a positive attitude at work, it impacts the people around you as well as the projects that you and your team members are working on. Positivity is contagious and will help you feel more satisfied in your job and attain your goals with better ease. 

8Develop good communication skills

Developing good communication skills is super important for progressing in your career. Working on being more comfortable making phone calls, contributing to conversations, and reviewing your emails before you send them are all simple ways to become more confident and comfortable communicating in different ways. 

9Learn how to manage your career

Learn how to manage your career independently and also through your relationship with your boss and colleagues. At work, you have a network of team members who are there to support you in your career journey. Discuss your career with your manager or boss so you can collaborate on a plan that lays out how to achieve your career goals. Be sure to take the initiative on the things that you can control to do what you need to get to where you want to be. 

10Build positive relationships

Build positive working relationships with your boss and with your colleagues. These positive relationships will support you and help you grow in your role, as well as provide you with more knowledge outlets. A huge part of how to excel at work lies in the relationships that you have with your colleagues and how you support each other to achieve your goals, no matter how ambitious. 

11Regularly expand your knowledge 

Take any and all opportunities to keep learning and to expand your knowledge. Whether this is by reading books, reading articles, watching videos, participating in training programs, or optimizing development opportunities internally or externally, choose to keep acquiring knowledge; this will open up more opportunities for you so you can continue to excel at work. 

12Take initiative

Take initiative! If you’re working to achieve something, know that you hold the power to get there, so long as you choose to exert it. Take the initiative to work on whatever it is that you need to, depending on what’s laid out in your career plan. Know which tangible goals you can work towards that will bring you closer to your larger vision and act on them immediately. This will help you excel at work and realize your career aspirations. 

13Ask for regular feedback 

Ask for regular feedback, from your colleagues and from your leadership team. This will give you the constructive criticism, positive recognition, and information that you need to excel in your role. Using a tool like Fellow is extremely impactful for maximizing your career success because it simplifies giving and receiving feedback so you can get the most out of your efforts. 

How to be the best at work? 

If you’re looking to become your best self at work, there are specific practices that you can put into place. Make sure that you’re setting milestones, so you have tangible goals to work towards. Get on top of planning, organizing, and prioritizing so you can stay focused and avoid any distractions that surface. Take advantage of technology and use it to your own advantage by hacking your workday with automation. Once you begin a task, seek to finish it and make a promise to yourself not to leave things half-done. Give yourself an edge by reading something new every day—this doesn’t mean it has to be something long, it just means it has to be some source of information. For example, reading an article, a quote, or a chapter of a new book will help ensure you’re continuously learning. 

Pro tip: Fellow’s Chrome extension streamlines the meeting process by making it easier to find and edit your meeting agendas. It seamlessly integrates with Google Meet and Google Calendar, bringing your meeting notes right where you need them. No more switching between multiple apps or frantically searching through old emails to find your agenda. With quick access directly from your Google Calendar, you can stay organized and prepared for every meeting. Whether you’re in the office or working remotely, Fellow’s Chrome extension helps you maximize your productivity and career success by simplifying the meeting process.

Parting advice 

There are many effective approaches to excelling at work. The most important way is to truly want to excel at and to maximize your career. This motivation will help you pursue your goals and aspirations. Revisit these 13 ways to excel at work to inspire you to find different ways to be your best at work and, ultimately, maximize your career success.

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About the author

Kate Dagher

Kate Dagher (Postgraduate H.Dip Psychology and BA in Business Management) has a management and corporate consulting background, having worked in the public sector, sales, and corporate finance. Kate is fascinated about how our physical environments influence our thoughts, behaviours, actions and wellbeing. She is a certified yoga teacher, a passionate writer, and traveller.

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