Excellence is not a skill, it is an attitude

A key component of attitude is learning to do your best no matter what the task requires, if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well. Doing your best is an attitude. Excellence is a learned habit that is not about your knowledge or experience (hard skills), but rather it is about your attitude (soft skills).

To do your best means to try your hardest, and to always try to reach excellence in your work. When you are getting paid to do a job, it’s important to always do your best. Your employer is trusting and counting on you, to do your job the best you can.

In the workplace, you will be faced with problems that might not have a clear or easy solution. The value you bring to your job depends upon your dedication to solve the problems you face. As long as you always do your best, your employer will notice the value you bring to the business.

Here are five tips for doing your best:

1. Show initiative or responsibility in work situations. To show initiative means to take responsibility for a task or project. Even though this task or project might not be part of your everyday duties, you go out of your way to figure out a solution and complete the task.


To show initiative also means that you are a self-starter. Try to figure out what your supervisor needs you to do, and then do it without being told. You can show initiative by following these simple steps:

1. Pay attention to the normal flow of work
2. Recognize when there is a problem that needs attention
3. Determine if you are able to solve the problem
4. Solve the problem.

2. Always try to improve your knowledge and skills. Learning doesn’t stop once you leave the classroom and enter the workforce. Your job will require that you keep on learning and improving your skills. If you don’t, you risk being passed up by one of your co-workers. You may also look as if you don’t care about your job if you don’t keep learning

3. Set reasonable goals and strive to meet them. In order to measure your success as an employee it’s important to set goals for yourself. Goals should be within your reach, but also challenging enough that you grow and learn from the experience.

Work with your supervisor to create both short- and long-term goals for yourself. Besides being reasonable, your goals should:

1. Be specific
2. Be meaningful or exciting
3. Be measurable
4. Have time to complete them

4. Be persistent. To be persistent means that you keep trying, even when the solution doesn’t come easily. Your job will present you with challenges that you haven’t dealt with before. It will require a great deal of persistence to overcome these challenges. Chances are, you won’t get it right the first time. It will take more than one try and need many different approaches to solve these challenges. As long as you are persistent, keep trying and show that you are trying your best, your efforts will not go unnoticed.


5. Avoid taking shortcuts. There will always be a faster or an easier way to do a job. Even though these shortcuts might save you some time, chances are they will result in poor-quality work. Usually there is a reason all the steps are in place or the process is set up the way it is. Respect these processes and avoid taking the easy way out.