Career Advice Career Guidance and Counselling

Top tips for success

If you feel your current role holds few prospects for promotion, rather than just waiting for something to happen, take ownership of your personal development to fast track your career.

Being successful and productive requires more than just participation. It demands being proactive about your own performance. How you do your job is just as important as what you do.

You need to understand your employer's expectations and company culture. Your cultural "fit" and your working relationship with your supervisor or manager are crucial.

Whether things are going well or badly, always stay positive and resist the urge to complain to co-workers about your manager or your job. If you go to your manager with a problem, go with at least one suggestion in mind for a solution. Even if your manager doesn't take it up, you look like a problem-solver.

Being a team player gets you noticed. Those willing to set aside their personal goals for the overall goals of the department or company are valued. Team players often advance faster than those with a more self-centred approach.

Office etiquette is important. Avoid gossip, stay focused on the positive and do not share personal or company information with co-workers. Maintain good office manners and respect shared office space by keeping your voice low on the phone and in person. When you can, go to co-workers to speak to them. Most companies monitor employee usage of technology, so skip personal e-mails and text messages.

Remember to be punctual. Finally, always try to keep your word and meet deadlines. Talk to your boss far ahead if you believe that you won't be able to complete an assigned task on time.

Marc Burrage, regional director of Hays in Hong Kong