Deirdre Mulhern, Career Coach at DM Career Conversations, shares advice on how to put your best foot forward at work.

People inherently value reliability. We want it and we expect it. When we get it, we trust it and it gradually becomes invaluable. 

Reliable people forge deeper relationships, receive better opportunities, are granted more work autonomy, and develop a greater sense of self confidence as they are aware that they are acting with integrity and can carry a clear conscience. 

I want you to now ask yourself – How reliable am I at work?

Employees can often overlook and forget the basics of what it means to be a ‘good employee’ when they are trying to secure that promotion or when trying to show their worth at work. 

While it is important to have wonderful, innovative ideas and great technical skills to perform, there is nothing like a hard working individual who is approachable, trustworthy and reliable when it comes to getting the job done. 

One thing I often tell my clients is if you come across as friendly and sincere in an interview you are more than 70% closer to getting that job. Employers do not just want to hire people with buckets full of knowledge and experience. They want people that they know they can trust, rely on, who do what they say they will do and in the time frame they say they will do it. They want people who can easily work with others and who are conscientious of others around them. They want people who have good manners and are polite. They want people who are strategic in how they phrase things, who know how to speak and listen to others with kindness and respect. 

Here I have outlined some simple ways we can put our best foot forward at work to show how committed, reliable and trustworthy we are.

  • If you are saying yes to something – commit to it. This will involve becoming aware of how much free time you have to allocate to different tasks and prioritising your time correctly. Make use of timelines and have a good time management system. If you do not have enough time to complete the task well – do not commit. 
  • Be proactive in how you communicate – avoid surprises. If you are unable to attend a meeting or you will be late – let the leader know in advance. If you have been given a task to do, reply that you have received it and include a time when you will report back to them. Send follow up emails to keep people informed on the project progress. Doing this implies that this task/project is important you. 
  • Start and finish – initiative and closure are the bookends of reliability and success. The best way to finish strong is to start strong. Take pride in your work and ensure the quality of the work you produce is of a high standard. When you put the effort into your work, it will speak volumes and it will show that you value the work that you do and the impact that it will make.
  • Be consistent. Your consistency will be noted and then you will be trusted or relied upon for future projects.
  • Be truthful and sincere. This will go a long way in developing strong working relationships. Spend time developing these relationships. Be supportive and patient with those on your team. 

If you are looking for help with developing yourself professionally please contact or check out our website to see how we can help you in your career journey or with any professional obstacles. 

Deirdre Mulhern is a Career Coach based in Donegal