Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tips for Your First Year on the Job

With graduation in sight, one of my classes has been preparing us to move on to new roles. I recently had some assigned readings on tips for new professionals and preparing for the transition to working at a new place, and thought it would be great to incorporate some of the tips into this blog post. Enjoy!

Do Your Research

Take time to do as much research on the company as possible. Read the organization’s annual reports or new initiatives that might be taking place. Read company magazines and study the organizational chart. The more you keep up to date on the organization, the better equipped you will be to fulfill the duties of your role and be a competent employee.

Ask questions and listen attentively

Do not be afraid to ask questions! Your supervisor and colleagues understand that you are transitioning from student to professional and will be willing to help you when needed. Asking questions will not only continue your learning process but also create the positive image of a hard-working and motivated employee.
Make sure to always listen once you asked the question, because asking the same question twice will diminish the positive impression you’ve established.

Be organized and develop time management skills

Although you may have successfully finished a paper after pulling an all-nighter, this will not suffice in the workplace. Set deadlines, and give yourself ample time to not only complete the task, but complete it well.

Seek opportunities for development

Many employers offer in-house trainings as well as access to professional development events to further educate their employees. Participating in such activities will show your commitment while also giving you the skills, resources, and competencies to excel and advance in the organization. The opportunities will also give you the chance to network with other professionals.

Be ready to work extra hours

Being new to a position usually means that you will not be the most efficient at your job right away. During your first year plan to put in extra hours as you learn the ins and outs of the job. Your hard work will be noticed and appreciated.
Be prepared for meetings

Meetings are often a forum for your colleagues to get to know you and assess your capabilities. Make sure to be well versed in the topic you are discussing, have something to contribute, address your comments to the entire group, and listen to others’ questions, comments, and concerns. And never show up to a meeting empty handed. Always bring writing materials.

Find a mentor

Seeking out a mentor in an organization is a great way to receive meaningful encouragement, constructive criticism and feedback. Mentors help you understand the workings of an organization and can provide you with an abundance of knowledge and resources.

Be friendly and get to know your colleagues

Avoid office gossip, and be nice to ALL staff. Getting to know different individuals will give you an array of information from different perspectives. Never pass up the opportunity to participate in office social activities. This allows you to create relationships. Always remember that your behavior at social events will reflect the type of employee you are!

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