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Small things can have big career impact
Published on Thursday, 21 Jul 2011
Illustration: Bay Leung

Big or small, all tasks are important. The key to quality is making sure every task is completed correctly and on time - every time. Larger problems can often be avoided by paying closer attention to detail. Some people are naturally meticulous. If you tend to be more relaxed, these rules should ensure that you don't come across as sloppy or unprofessional. 

Be punctual Be on time or early for work and meetings - always. This also applies to phone calls and emails. Try to answer these in a timely manner, by the end of the day if possible. Punctuality shows that you respect your colleagues and their time. 

Check for typos Whether it's a client presentation or an internal e-mail, make sure to double-check your work for simple mistakes, such as typos. Your co-workers may become disgruntled if they have to constantly edit your work - and nothing undermines your image as a competent professional so quickly. 

Review your e-mails Maintain good e-mail etiquette by including basic greetings and courtesies. Avoid composing your e-mails too quickly and take a moment at the end to see if your e-mail actually makes sense. 

Keep track If you often forget about simple tasks, then keep a small notebook and jot down requests as you receive them. 

Follow up It is important that you fully complete all of your tasks. Take the time to follow up or ask for feedback. 

Matthew Hill, managing director, Ambition


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