Your first job can be a great learning experience and building block, but it’s all about what you put into it. Here are some tips that I’ve learned from my own experience in the office.
- Be on time: This is a simple tip, but it’s really important. Get to work on time or even 5 minutes early, every day. If your boss says be there by 9 AM, be there by 8:55. That’s it. Do it and don’t complain.
- Be Polite: Making a good impression is half the battle, especially because in a new job your work can’t speak for itself yet. No matter who you meet you should give off an air of friendliness and openness. So those manners your mom always bugged you about? It’s time to put them to use. Say hello, say please and thank you, and say excuse me not “What.” Make eye contact when someone is talking to you. This will show people that you are actually listening to what they are saying. If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t know anyone, take the initiative, hold out your hand and introduce yourself. Yes these may seem like small details that have little to nothing to do with your career but trust me, they do.
- Work Hard: Make it your personal goal to dispel all of the beliefs people have about Millennials. When someone asks you to do something extra that may not fall under your job description, it should be seen as an opportunity not a nuisance. Stepping up and accepting a challenge is the ideal way to get noticed in a new job. Yes, this may mean that you’re working late, or getting in early, but you have to work hard to get where you want to be.
- Believe in yourself: If you know you have a great attitude and work hard you’re allowed to ask for it to be acknowledged. However there is a time and a place for this. Most companies have a yearly review with your manager. During this time you can voice your thoughts, and you should. The point of the review is to get feedback on your work and to give feedback. Again, and I cannot stress this enough, say how you feel but in a polite, mature manner.
Learn everything you can, don’t engage in gossip, show up on time, and get to bed on time. Do not show up in any state other than ready to work. Take care of yourself so you can put your best foot forward. This is the beginning of the rest of your life. You get out of your career what you put into it. If you take your work seriously, you will be taken seriously. Simple as that.