Want to win at work? These 5 steps will help

Self StarterTypically I write for business owners, sharing straightforward advice to help you achieve more. This article is for you, the business owner, to share with your team. I know you need a first-class team to win at business and there’s some great lessons in here to help them step up.

How does this word make you feel?


Are you breaking out in a cold sweat, cringing at the thought of pushing yourself forward?

Or does it fill you with anticipation at the prospect of stepping out of your comfort zone and actively pursuing your goals?

Whichever category you fall into, I’ve got news for you: managers are looking for self-starters in the workplace – those who use initiative, who follow-up a complaint with an actionable solution, who are willing to learn to be the best at what they do. And what’s more, self-starters are generally the first inline for promotion.

So, what does it mean to BE a self-starter?

It’s probably more reassuring to tell you what you don’t have to be. You don’t have to be arrogant, pushy or flying-solo. You can be a popular colleague and a valued team member, while also using your nouce to get great results. Here are five ways you can be a self-starter and win at work:

1. Mindset

Remember those halcyon days when we clocked in, clocked out, and got paid for the time in between? That’s not enough anymore. Especially in the current economic climate. Nowadays, think value, value, value. How can you add it? How could you possibly work smarter, more effectively, and make a bigger impact? Own it: take responsibility to define and work towards your personal and company goals.

2. Create and Innovate

You can start small here; it doesn’t have to be a radical or hugely challenging idea. A small way to make a task easier, a simpler process, or just asking yourself regularly “is there a better way of doing this?”. Listen to customer and colleague feedback – what would make their lives easier? And keep your eye on the outside world and your competitors. What innovative ideas could inspire you and instigate positive change?

3. Blow your own trumpet

Quantifiable, evidence-based results are a game-changer when it comes to progressing at work. A former colleague of mine had a practice that’s stuck with me over the years; she set up an email folder called ‘Trumpet’. In here, she’d save any piece of positive feedback, stats to show progress and results, and notes of thanks. Not only is this a brilliant way of giving yourself a boost when you need it, but will also be useful in an appraisal or review.

4. Offer solutions, not complaints

Ask any boss, and this will be up there in their list of invaluable self-starter traits. Why? Because it makes their life easier. We all know that sinking feeling of listening to someone moan, feeling embarrassed at their chargrain, and feeling unsure about how to help. Don’t be that person. Especially at work. Approach your boss with a solution, not a complaint.

5. Workplace culture

Does your company’s working culture support your aspirations? For those of you who are ready to be proactive in your role, and to achieve your very best personally and professionally, you need a culture that supports your growth. If you feel like you’ve ‘had your wings clipped’ or you’re being micromanaged to the point of despair, maybe it’s time to give your boss the boot and seek out a workplace that’s more supportive and empowering. Now more than ever, there’s a world of opportunity out there for the self-starter. Maybe it’s time to take the leap?

Thriving at work and in business is our forte

At Meades we’re always looking ahead, we’re constantly growing our team by seeking out the self-starters, the people who will make ours and our client’s businesses and lives better.

Could you, or someone you know be our next star team player? Learn more here.