How to Prove Yourself in the Workplace From Day One
You finally landed your first real adult job — and quickly realize this isn't a summer job at the rec center. Follow these tips to set yourself apart from the pack.
Congratulations! You have just stepped into the professional workforce — a defining moment in your life.
You’re probably nervous, and maybe have looked up some tips for this monumental, noteworthy and slightly terrifying change. And through your research, you found…
* LifeZette’s “A Boss’s Guide to Managing Bratty Millennials”
* Forbes’ slightly less harsh “How To (Effectively) Manage Millennials -- Five Dos And Five Don'ts”
* And CBS News’ time-old question “Are millennials too spoiled for the workplace?”
I know, it can be rough out there. Now is just the beginning of your career — you’re bound to face challenges, and honestly, will probably be a little underestimated here and there. But don’t let this fill you with nerves or despair. With the right mindset, you will also build great relationships, learn skills and find success in both small and big ways.
Here are four strategies to keep in mind to start proving yourself from day one.
1. Like the first day of school, properly pack your bag
When I walked into my first day of work at an office, I had a completely empty purse with me. (That is literally all!) And while most offices will not make you bring your own supplies, it will look good if you have a few of the essentials, proving that you mean business.
* A notebook
* Pens and pencils
* Post-it notes
* And anything necessary to make you feel at home
Again, don’t fret. Your new boss is probably not going to ask you to take out a pencil and paper for a pop quiz on your first day. But going into the office prepared will make for a good impression.
2. Research what’s new or hot in your field
Stepping into the full-time workforce can feel more or less like entering a whole new world, depending on the career path you’ve chosen. Luckily, you can take action to make the transition a little less intimidating.
* Did you just get hired by a tiny, but growing, company? Start by reading small business news, trends and habits to get a feel for the industry and environment
* Are you joining a recruiting team? Learn about popular recruiting software — and hey, you may just make the next great suggestion for streamlining team processes.
* Or, if you didn’t already furiously research your new employer through the interviewing process, now is definitely the time to do so.
Walking into a new job with knowledge that’s important to the team and company will show they made the right decision by extending a job offer your way.
3. Ask a friend to gently remove your cellphone from your cold, white-knuckled hand
Sadly, we live in a world where the thought of going a few hours without our cell phones sounds preposterous. And the entire day? No thanks!
Now is the time to step up to the plate. Prove to yourself that you can function as a normal human being without keeping tabs on your device. Leave the phone in your bag, pocket or anywhere out of sight. Trust me, you’ll be okay.
You can eventually keep your phone on your desk after proving (to your boss and yourself) to be a hard worker, but it’s not a good idea to have it in front of your face from the very beginning. It can be a distraction for what’s already known as the tech-obsessed generation.
4. It’s not about following orders — engage with the boss
Most likely, you went through multiple interviews before being offered what seemed like the position of your dreams. You were hired for your grit, outlook and potential. While you didn’t take this job to follow demands with your head hung low, be ready to do a little extra leg (aka grunt) work, especially in the beginning.
What’s one of the best ways to make an impression? Interact with the boss. They have a lot of knowledge to share with you, and the end of the day, they’re the ones who make the final decisions. But that doesn’t mean your ideas aren’t valid and your input isn’t valuable. Hell, you were hired to produce great work and bring new ideas to the table. Do just that.
It’s just the beginning...
You have a long career ahead of you, and there will be both ups and downs. Don’t be afraid to get excited, work hard, make mistakes and learn everything you can.
What's one piece of advice you have for the newly minted corporate employee? Comment below for a chance to be featured in an upcoming post!