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Young women are entering management and leadership positions earlier than the women before them and that’s amazing news! The truth, however, is that many of us in those positions or similar may not practice professional habits that could help us excel in our careers.
I found myself learning as I progressed when I first got into my management position. While I made a lot of mistakes along the way, I made sure to learn from them. I borrowed habits of professionals I admired, learned from those I disliked, and develop a style of my own.
Here are some professional habits that have worked for me!
12 Professional Habits for Today’s Girl Boss
1. Get organized
Organization is one of the most important habits to master. As you move up in the working world, your tasks and responsibilities are bound to grow in size and volume. So, it’s better to learn how to keep a tidy desk, stay on top of your calendar/to-do list, and keep your files arranged early in your professional career.
2. Dress the part
People judge by appearance whether we like it or not, and the same holds true in the professional world. Time to get an arsenal of professional clothing if you don’t have one already. It’s important to dress for the job you want and meet or even exceed your company’s dress code. Get some inspiration from my business casual girl boss outfits board on Pinterest!
3. Be confident
Dressing the part is one way to help you build self-confidence. Remember that you worked hard to get into the position that you’re in. While it may be scary or nervous in the beginning, you’ll get better at it every single day.
4. Clean your social media presence
Don’t learn this lesson the hard way! There are too many stories of people getting fired because of inappropriate pictures or posts on their social media pages. Change your privacy settings and clean your profiles. You should also head over to LinkedIn, a social media platform for professional networking, and establish your presence there.
5. Exceed expectations
I recommend going above and beyond when it comes to work ethic. Whether you work for yourself or someone else, you want your hard work to stand out. Believe me when I say that strong work ethic and exceeding expectations can come with benefits that follow you throughout your career.
6. Find a mentor
If there’s someone you hold in high regard that towed the same path as you, it never hurts to ask if he or she can be your mentor. Having a mentor is an excellent way to learn the ropes of the trade, ask questions, and seek guidance in hopes of emulating his or her successes. Don’t make it awkward. Suggest a discussion over coffee or lunch.
Surrounding yourself with people who are in your industry or have the same aspirations is important for several reasons. It builds your relationships with people who may know people (we know how important that can be), is beneficial to your career, and opens the door for new opportunities.
8. Be early
Nothing scores you points in the professionalism department like being punctual. My mantra is if you’re not early, you’re late. It could be an important meeting with your boss or a casual coffee meet with a potential mentor or partner. Showing up early is a sign of responsibility and reliability, shows that you’re eager and ready to learn, and gives you some time to prepare.
9. Kill your perfectionist attitude
This is one of the most important habits I’ve had to develop. If you wait until your project, blog post, quarterly report, etc., is perfect, you’ll be waiting forever. Give every task your absolute best effort and submit it. If you’re unsatisfied with the end result, learn and grow from it for next time.
10. Say no
As much as some of us would like to work and out-hustle the next person, we’re only human and can only take on so many tasks. It’s more than okay to say no. You’re better off declining and agreeing to take on a task when you’re able to take it on than you are saying yes and taking on way more than you can handle as that leads to missed deadlines, fatigue/burnout, unreliability, etc.
11. Update your resume
Even if you’re not looking for a new job, it’s imperative to keep an updated resume. It’s easy to forget details overtime, plus it serves as a good confidence boost and reminder of your skills and accomplishments.
12. Take a break
While there’s a need for your hustle game to stay strong, it’s always important to remember to take care of yourself. If you need some tips, check out my self-care post and download my self-care bundle that includes 55 self-care tips for every girl boss!
What are some professional habits that you’ll start using? Share below as I’d love to hear your stories or suggestions!