8 Ways to Rock Your First Real Job from Day One
Sure, you can always dress to impress, but rocking your first job is about so much more than sporting a stylish new blazer or an Insta-worthy #OOTD. Want to make a great impression right off the bat? Exhibiting a solid work ethic, showing and earning respect, having a healthy dose of optimism, and rolling up your sleeves to pitch in will all set you up for success. Scroll on for eight additional tips that’ll help you thrive in your career right from the start.
1. Take initiative. Tackling something you’ve been asked to do is great, but getting it done before you’re asked is even better. Take the initiative to share your observations and ideas that you believe will make things better — it won’t go unnoticed.
2. Build relationships. Connecting with the people you work with serves two purposes: It makes going to work more fun, and it makes collaborating easier. Be a good sounding board for the coworkers who sit near you, eat lunch with people on different teams, and foster authentic friendships with the folks who you might not interact with much in your regular work routine, like the receptionist or office manager. You’ll likely learn more about your company, gain helpful knowledge, and have plenty of people to go to when you need a hand with problem-solving — or someone to accompany you to happy hour.
3. Focus on growth. Are you already skilled at what you do at work? Awesome! Become even more of a standout employee by being humble and challenging yourself to learn more. Adopting a growth-focused mentality will help you find the silver lining when obstacles pop up and serve as a reminder that there are always new and bigger challenges to tackle.
4. Keep it simple. People appreciate information that’s easy to understand, whether it’s in a presentation, chart, or email. Be a great employee by saving other people work when you keep whatever you share simple. Think ahead to strip out any extraneous language, extra steps, and unnecessary explanation, and strive to communicate concisely and clearly.
5. Seize hidden opportunities. We often hear this little gem of wisdom: Opportunity can be disguised as a challenge. However, it’s not always so easy to see it in the moment, particularly when you get assigned a project that causes you a lot of stress. In these situations, take a minute to pause and flip the script; instead of lamenting about something you can’t do, notice that you can learn from it and expand your skill set in the process.
6. Ask for help. Feel shy about asking for help? Don’t beat yourself up. It’s totally normal, and many people (some of whom you’d never suspect) feel exactly the same way. Shine at work by triumphing over this typical fear. Your colleagues and boss will be impressed by how much you care, and you’ll reap the benefits of asking by learning new things.
7. Manage up. Not all bosses are created equal. Some are first-time managers, while others have management styles that don’t work for everyone. “Managing up” is a great way to support your boss while helping them improve their role at the same time. To do it effectively, communicate your needs and help set expectations by asking for specifics around unclear requests, sharing your ideas, and pushing back on unrealistic timelines. Make life easier for your boss by turning in excellent, on-time work consistently, and they’ll see how valuable you are.
8. Track your success. Knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as what you’ve done that worked (and didn’t) will serve you well as you advance in your career. Be intentional about results and measure the impact of your efforts, whether it’s qualitative (information that can’t be measured with numbers) or quantitative (numerical information). You’ll then be ready to share your successes, learnings, and even failures in meetings, reviews, and future job interviews.
What else do you think makes a great impression at work? Share your secrets with us on Twitter @BritandCo.
(Photo via Getty)