Great question, and there are some great answers here already. Here's what I would add:
Learn more about your boss's job, how their own success or failure is measured, and then align your efforts with theirs.
One of my first jobs was scooping ice cream and making smoothies on this little shack on the beach. Scooping ice cream is pretty easy, but making a good smoothie takes a bit of skill. After 30 or 40 of them, I was pretty good. I kept things clean, and my boss seemed to think I was doing a good job.
A little while after that, another person was hired. He did all the stuff that I did. But he also understood that this was a business. For me, I was just trying to make some extra money. For him, he was trying to further the overall success of the business. He asked about our inventory, because you can't make smoothies without ingredients. He looked at our signage out front, because people won't come in if they don't know what we're selling. He payed attention to peak hours, to make sure we were ready for them.
And I was... making some pretty good smoothies, trying to make some money.
Guess who got a promotion after one month (and was thus making more money)? Not me.
Figure out what your boss cares about, and then align your efforts to help meet their definition of success.
Hope that helps!
Many people want to do well in their careers and jobs however very few are able to accomplish it.
So, my first and fore most recommendation to get good at your job, is to start early, don't wait for peers or colleagues to tell you to improve on skills or capabilities.
Also most times I see people waiting to be referred by their companies for attending training.
Try refraining from this attitude, because it subtly reflects that your growth or self-improvement is direct proportional to company's investment in training you.
So here are 3 things for you to get great at your work,
- Be the EXPERT - know the nitty gritty of the work, in and out, so when people question you about it - you have the answer ready. (everyone loves the KNOW IT ALL GUY.)
- Build your connection - being an introvert myself saying this is very ironic, so the way I do and recommend you, is always help the opposite person first by adding extra value, so when you need a favour or you want them to vouch for you for a promotion or a job recommendation the process is less stressful.
- Be Caring - with the competition rising, work place environment has become even more competitive and insecure and to think that you will thrive and be successful all by yourself is a myth. Learn to take care of your peers they will in return take care of you, and love to support you in your growth Remember " Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much"
I wish you all the best, Isaac!
- Read, learn and never stop learning, everything is evolving at light speed if you don't keep learning on your field you'll be soon outdated.
- Teach, share the knowledge with the newbies and not so newbies, and in that you will also learn something too.
- Participate, be involved in the community related to your career, by doing so you will expand your knowledge and see other point of views.
- Have fun, and enjoy what you do, if you don't enjoy what you do you'll never improve
For example; If you are HR member and you saw that the future will be for Human resources Planning so you can focus in this area and taking courses or work with this more closely and so on
You can have a mentor that can guide you and help you to attain your goals.
Be curious about what you do, read about it, always think how you can deliver greater value.
Always ask for feedback from the people your work with. That will help you assess your weakness and strengths.
Set yearly goals and work hard on achieving them.
In every career, there will be a point when you would feel like giving up because you are not able to cope up with fast paced tech. I would advice: Do not give up. Start learning new concepts pertaining to the field you are working on and keep up with it, read forums explaining creative ideas in which you can excel in your career, mingle with people in your company whom you are comfortable with, share your thoughts with them and learn something from them.
There is one more scenario now. At one point you will be at the threshold of your current job and you would feel that you have learnt whatever you could in your current job. In that case, start looking for alternatives. You can either learn something new, or you can pursue your hobby as your career or go for higher studies to enhance your career motives.
If you already working, keep your skill sets up to date with the demand in the market. If you are a student I would suggest that you find the field of your interest, do some research on what skills are in demand for that field. Work on those skills , get better at them.
Most importanlty, always be on a lookout to learn new skills relevant to your carreer path.