Since graduating college seven years ago, I have had many ‘first days of work’ largely because I changed careers. I have become the go to person on this topic for most of my friends, based on experience not expertise, I think. However, I always like sharing things I’ve observed or heard along the way. I also like hearing from you on things you’ve learned!
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received comes from my dad (and countless others). My dad told me that the biggest attribute to success is ‘showing up.’ He meant getting to work on time, working efficiently, and consistently doing a good job. When I graduated college, I didn’t think this tip was that helpful as I assumed it was a given that all people work hard. The truth is that many people are apathetic about daily activities at the office. I recall a boss marveling that I could arrive at work before 8:30 a.m. It made me realize that people do take notice when you’re at work early or on time. Aside from that, being late always makes my day feel off. If you’re not a morning person, learn to be one – quickly. For some reason, this step proves even more crucial to those of you who are young. Many bosses assume the younger generation is lazy – prove to them this assumption is incorrect.
The second actionable step is to pay attention and participate. We all know someone who tweets their way through the staff meeting without giving it a second thought. Do not be that person! Maybe it’s because this is a personal pet peeve, but I always hone in on the person who isn’t paying attention during a staff event or meeting. Not only is it considered rude to do this, it shows that you aren’t committed to giving 100% at work.
Lastly, offer solutions. Though you might be new to the workforce, recent graduates offer a wealth of creative solutions. You have most likely mastered social networking and may know how it can help your company. If you have a good idea, bring it up in a meeting or to your supervisor. Don’t grow disappointed if your idea is never used. Supervisors and co-workers will remember that you actively participated and that you’re thinking creatively. Additionally, if there is a conflict at work try to offer solutions instead of complain. Most people remember complainers and avoid them. Problem-solvers are always asked to chime in. So get noticed by helping out!
I hope these tips prove themselves helpful. They’re three things I always remember when I embark on a new job. Sometimes even veteran employees need to be reminded of these. Are there any tips you would include on this list? Let me know in the comments section.