The job search is characterized by a series of highs and lows–where only the strong survive. You have to reach beyond your current circumstances in order to grasp hold of an amazing future. Tomorrow can be better than today and that reality should help you push toward making your goals a reality. Too often, once job seekers become employees, they resort to habits that turn them right back into job seekers.

It’s easy to take employment for granted once you’re in the door, but that mentality will keep you on a never-ending hunt for your next gig. Take our advice: Don’t get sucked into the blame game. Whether you’re looking for a new job or ready to leave your current position, it’s important to become an employee who’s worth hiring and keeping; develop the habits you need to succeed.

There are many factors that will influence how long you are employed by a company, some of which you may not be able to control. However, your ability to succeed in your present environment will help you in the long run. Here are 8 habits you should develop if you want to create value for your next (or current) employer:

  • Punctuality – Get to work on time every day. Honor your engagements and show up on time for meetings. Strive to meet all deadlines. Always respond to customers and coworkers in a professional and timely manner. Employers respect employees who can adhere to a schedule.
  • Dependability – Be someone your manager and coworkers can count on. Follow through when given an assignment. Take notes when you have been instructed to carry out a specific task so you will know what to do, how to do it and be able to comply with deadlines.
  • Knowledge – Find ways to expand your understanding of the company. Ask to attend training sessions, read company manuals, and network with staff inside and outside your department. Grow in your current role, but keep an eye out for new opportunities as they become available.
  • Commitment – Proactively seek out ways to make life easier for your supervisor/team. Operate with a sense of integrity no matter who is around. There is always someone watching.
  • Problem solving skills – Instead of telling your supervisor about a problem, tell him or her about a solution. Perhaps you have identified a way to cut costs or save time. Companies want to hire problem solvers. Your ability to help solve problems and avoid them in the future will contribute to the growth of your company and your career.
  • Responsibility – When you’re given a project, own it! Draw on your unique talents and experiences to produce satisfactory outcomes. If you make a mistake, acknowledge the error, assume responsibility and work toward fixing the problem. Don’t blame anyone for your wrongdoing. By coming up with a solution, you can clean up your mistakes.
  • Attitude – Enthusiasm is contagious. Customers, managers and colleagues respond well to someone with a great attitude. A simple smile will go a long way in creating rapport and improving interaction. Take time to learn about the company culture and demonstrate a pleasant attitude toward your peers.
  • Career direction – For your personal development and to further your career with any company, track your progress. Document your goals and accomplishments. Stay focused on what you want to achieve as it relates to your career path. Monitor your personal performance and identify areas you can improve in before someone else initiates the conversation. Take control of your professional aims, and do not let anyone or anything limit you along the way.
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