Finding a Job Starts With Good Habits

John Scott
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A successful job search depends on your ability to stand out from the crowd. One of the best ways to differentiate yourself is to demonstrate good work habits. This approach shows interviewers that you respect their time and the positions they're offering. It also gives potential employers a sense of whether your work style is compatible with your prospective job's duties and the company's employee culture.

Throughout your job search, you will learn that punctuality is one of the most basic, yet important, work habits. It's also a vital aspect of a successful job interview. Rushing flustered and harried through the door at the last minute, struggling with your jacket and briefcase, is sure to raise red flags with the interviewer. Arriving 10 or 15 minutes early, on the other hand, so that you're relaxed and have your thoughts and your belongings organized, shows you in a far more professional light. If you arrive for your interview more than 15 minutes before your appointment, wait outside or in your car for a while to avoid an awkwardly long wait.

Highly productive workers are usually well organized, so organization is a work habit you need to develop if you're not already practicing it. You'll get off to a great start at your job interviews by organizing notes with questions about the job and the company, as well as your

resume, references, ID and other items, before you go. Once you get the job, stay on top of your responsibilities by making information, contact and workflow management part of your daily work habits.

The old adage that the devil is in the details contains much truth. Careful preparation is the work habit that ensures no detail is overlooked. Prepare for your job interview by researching questions you're likely to be asked and jotting down some notes to keep the answers at the top of your mind. Also research the company and its position in the industry, and prepare questions to ask the interviewer. Use your interview preparation as a foundation for the valuable work habit of doing your homework on the job. This way, you'll approach every phone call, meeting and project knowing what's expected of you and how you'll rise to the challenge.

Goal setting is the work habit that allows you to focus on the task at hand without losing sight of long-term objectives. Your job interviews are almost certain to touch on your goals. Plan to discuss what you hope to accomplish in the near term and further down the road. After you get the job, make it a priority to develop the work habit of writing down your goals and the steps needed to accomplish them. In doing so, you'll give yourself a road map that will keep you on track even when a multitude of responsibilities compete for your attention.

Good work habits take time to develop. Start now so the actions you need to take will be habitual by the time you have your next job interview. Maintain them after you land your job and there will be no limits on what you can accomplish.

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