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5 good work habits for a successful career

When you’re first starting your professional career, it can be difficult to know how to be successful. Developing good work habits early on is crucial to success later down the line. Here are ways to start off your internship on the right foot to ensure future good habits in the workplace.

1. Be on time

While this may seem obvious, many interns and young professionals don’t realize the importance of timeliness. It is one of the most important good work habits, but can be the most difficult to master. Arriving on time or even a few minutes early goes a long way in the workplace. Getting to the office at the right time is an easy way to show your manager that you are dedicated and take the position seriously. It also demonstrates that you are organized enough to maintain your schedule and workload.

Arriving on time, particularly in the mornings, is also crucial to your productivity the rest of the day. Arriving late usually means you are rushed, and don’t end up doing your best work. Also, arriving late on a regular basis for meetings or other functions, demonstrates a lack of respect for your colleagues. In order to show your respect and dedication, dress for success and always be on time!

good work habits

2. Ask clarifying questions

Asking questions is one of the easiest ways to avoid making mistakes. When you receive an assignment, it’s important to be sure that you fully understand your role. Asking questions will make it easier to complete your task correctly the very first time. Handing in top-notch work, that doesn’t need extensive revisions, or worse, to be re-done, is key for professional success.

3. Proof-read

Out of all the good work habits to keep in the back of your mind, proof-reading your work is one of the most important. Sloppy, incorrect or misspelled writing does nothing to strengthen your professional image. Whether you’re sending out an email or drafting a newsletter, take the extra time to read through what you have put together. These few extra minutes might be the difference between excellent work and a few, easy grammatical mistakes.

good work habits

4. Find your passion

Finding your passion can be one of the most difficult challenges a young professional must face. However, it is one of the most important things for a successful career. It is undeniable that you do your best work when you’re contributing to something you are passionate about. Finding roles and organizations that excite and inspire you is key to building success as a professional.

5. Stay Curious

In order to be successful and continue growing in your career, it’s important to stay motivated and curious. Don’t get too comfortable! Try to push yourself out of your comfort zone, try new things, learn a new skill, gain a new perspective. Just because you’ve graduated doesn’t mean you have to stop growing, learning and becoming a better professional!

Practice these good work habits with an internship abroad. Apply now!


  1. based on to do list on wallboard in office, by Marco Verch, CC BY 2.0
  2. based on Dusted meeting room, by David Wall, CC BY 2.0
  3. based on Business people in a meeting, by Rawpixel ltd. CC BY 2.0


Photos and blog by Maeve Allsup

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!