Developing Positive Work Habits

Coworkers mingling in an office

Editor’s note: The following has been updated by APH Staff as of November 2023. 

You know an employer hires employees based on specific technical skills, but did you know employers also desire their employees to have excellent soft skills? Soft skills are general skills that make good employees—skills such as honesty, dependability, and being well-mannered.  

Soft skills have become increasingly important in the modern workplace, where collaboration, adaptability, and creativity are essential for success. These personal attributes, which encompass communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability, are crucial in determining an individual’s ability to thrive in a dynamic and ever-changing professional environment. 

Soft Skills the Employer Really Wants 

Employers hope their new employees will come to work with the following work habits. Review the list and think critically about where you have room for growth. Everyone has room for improvement!  

  • Punctuality—Are you on time every day? 
  • Accountability—Do you follow procedures to inform others if you will be late or out for the day? 
  • Attendance—Are you at work unless you are truly ill or there is an emergency? 
  • Productivity—Do you ensure you meet both quality and quantity measures? 
  • Initiative—Do you start work without being told to do so? 
  • Cooperation—Do you get along with people (boss, coworkers, and customers)? 
  • Attention to Detail—Do you follow the rules or directions precisely? 
  • Accuracy—Do you take measures to avoid mistakes? 
  • Adaptability—Can you do more than one job task? 
  • Diligence—Are you taking measures to improve your job performance routinely? 
  • Appearance—Do you come to work wearing appropriate clothing and accessories? 
  • Open-mindedness—Are you able to accept constructive criticism? 
  • Honesty and Trustworthiness—Do you avoid cheating, stealing, or lying? 

Consider how many of the work habits listed above you demonstrate in your current work, school, or home situation. Are there habits you need to improve—what are they? How can you improve in these areas as a job seeker who is blind or low vision?  

Here’s how you can move towards becoming a more “perfect worker”: 

  • Understand your employer’s expectations.  
  • Learn how to communicate on the job with your employer and coworkers. 
  • Be welcoming in the way you come across to others. 
  • Seek constructive criticism of your soft skills. 
  • Find ways to handle and solve problems at work.