While social skills play an enormous role in maintaining and advancing employment, no extent of strong social skills can retain you if your job performance is sorely inadequate.
What job tasks are you paid to perform? Perform them to the best of your ability. This is accomplished by remaining current in your field, providing accurate and quality work, and efficiently completing tasks.
- Remain current in your field by acquiring up-to-date research and skills. You can attend relevant conferences or workshops; subscribe to pertinent newsletters, magazines, publications, and journals; network with professionals in your field and idea-share; take courses to improve job-specific skills; and seek to accept responsibilities and projects requiring the development of new skills. Consider teaching a course or presenting at a conference—you will be highly motivated to remain current in your field.
- Provide accurate and quality work. Examine your job description and talk with your supervisor to learn exactly what you are expected to accomplish. Organize your workload into manageable objectives, and double-check each task at its completion before proceeding. Consider asking a colleague to peer-review particularly detailed work. After the work is submitted, ask for feedback and utilize the feedback to improve performance on subsequent tasks and projects.
- Lastly, ensure your workflow is efficient. You may need to take the time to learn assistive technology, hardware, or software that will eventually save time and increase accuracy. Don’t hesitate to connect with other persons with visual impairments and ask which technology or workflow they find beneficial for accomplishing specific tasks. You can do so by finding a career mentor or posting a question on a blindness- and career-specific message board, both of which can be achieved using CareerConnect’s Make Connections Section.
For additional career counsel on sharpening employment skills, listen to CareerConnect’s Cornerstone to Success, an audio file intended for blind and visually impaired workers, and read CareerConnect’s Building Positive Work Habits article.