Both colleagues and managers respect and appreciate co-workers they can count on. Being late and always asking others to finish your work -- not so much. Getting a reputation for being a dependable professional can help you win friends, boost your career and get great recommendations when you move on to new professional challenges.
Show Up for Work
It sounds like a simple thing, but many people don’t do it. Think about this -- if you show up for work 10 minutes late every day and leave 10 minutes early, you’re cheating your boss out of nearly two hours of work every week. You can show you’re a true and dependable professional by always arriving for work on time, never overextending your lunch hour or break time, and staying put until your shift is over. If you run late, call your boss and give her a heads-up. If you need to leave early, ask, don’t tell your boss in advance to ensure someone can cover for you.
Do Your Job
Do your job while you're at work. Stay off your cell phone and your laptop and don't surf the web on the company dime. Being 100 percent engaged in your work while on the clock paints you as a dependable person. Perform every element of your job responsibilities to the best of your ability. Don't shirk duties or pass on work to someone else, but rather, be responsible for tasks and responsibilities that are yours. Do things right the first time and fix mistakes as soon as they happen.
When your boss asks, “Who can I count on?” you want your name to be on the tip of her tongue. Cultivate a reputation for always being willing and able to help others when the need arises. This isn't to say you have to do someone else's job or regularly take over responsibilities that aren't yours. However, part of being a dependable employee and colleague involves lending a hand on occasion, sharing your knowledge and expertise with others, and working together for the collective good of the organization.
Don’t be “that person” who always has an excuse for why deadlines aren’t met. A deadline isn’t the day to start a project -- it’s the very last day to make sure you’re fine-tuning a completed task before delivery. Make every effort to meet deadlines on time or even ahead of schedule. Always hitting your mark shows your employer you’re a reliable person who comes through without fail. Be especially mindful of meeting deadlines when completing your own stuff is vital to someone else being able to do their job effectively.
Be a Team Player
Participate in brainstorming sessions and get involved with committee work and group projects. This shows others you can be counted on to be part of collaborative efforts. This type of dependability has the potential to move you up the corporate ladder because you'll earn a reputation for being a real go-to person.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.