By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations
While attending a number of graduations in the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about the exciting world of possibilities for the grads I know. Of course, most grads are just trying to find a job before they start thinking about setting the world on fire. The work world can seem a bit overwhelming; especially in the early going. But, there are some simple tips for success that can help with that transition. Some of them are things I wish I knew, or paid more attention to, at that stage of life.
Network. You don’t know where your next promotion, job or career will come from. By networking, you’ll be surprised at the personal and professional friends you’ll make. They won’t all look like you, talk like you or act like you; but they will care about you. Conversely, you are going to meet and work with some people you really don’t like. Learn how to manage those more difficult situations and you’ll gain valuable skills that will help you succeed.
Talk with your boss. No, this is not brown-nosing. How do you know what makes your boss tick and what’s important to them if you don’t talk with them? How will they know about your successes and your challenges? Early in my career I thought if I just did my job, my boss would know I what a good job I was doing. Now I realize they weren’t mind readers!
Understand the business side of the business you’re in. No matter what the business, the bottom line is important. Understand what drives the bottom line of the business you’re in and how your work fits into the picture. Not only will this give you a better sense of purpose, but it will ultimately make you more successful.
Finally, two words sum up what might be the most important advice: show up. Show up mentally each and every day and show up on time for work and for meetings with colleagues and clients alike. It’s easy to be distracted by your social life, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or that new apartment you’re hoping to move into next weekend. By paying attention to the work at hand while you’re actually working, you’ll learn a lot about your environment, co-workers, clients and career. As for being on time, it’s a simple way to show respect for the work you do as well as other people’s time. And don’t bolt out the door at the end of the day. You don’t have to stay an hour after everyone else, but don’t hit the eject button at 5 p.m. on the dot.
While making the jump from college to career is exciting and frightening all the same time, it can be a fun and very worthwhile journey. So jump in and enjoy the ride!