Welcome back! Today I’m talking about 10 things I’ve learned since starting work full time over a year ago. I can’t believe the time has gone by this fast, and I definitely have learned a lot-and I can’t wait to share. Whether you’ve been working for years, or are just about to start a new job, these 10 things can help give anyone some new perspective on their work situation.
- Always have a good attitude
In an office setting, or any type of work setting really, people are going to talk. When you’re new, first impressions can mean a lot, so regardless of how you may feel about the people around you, or your job it’s always best to have a positive, respectful attitude. People who show up to a job acting like they know everything, or that they’re above everyone else or the job, are not going to have a good reputation. If you’re always ready to take on any task, no one will ever have anything negative to say about not only you but your work ethic as well.
- Be patient
Sometimes it’s hard to be patient when you want to hit the ground running, and try everything under the sun. Something important I’ve learned in the past year is to be patient, and let things happen when they’re meant to. This is not to say you should sit back and not take initiative to do things, but try not to get ahead of yourself and realize that in a lot of work settings, you need to earn the right to move your way up the ladder, and that’s totally normal and fair.
- Go outside of your comfort zone
Try new things, talk to new people-there’s always a benefit to going outside of your comfort zone. I’ve found some of the best experiences I’ve had professionally in the past year have come from me taking even a little step outside my comfort zone and putting myself out there. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.
- Always ask questions
You’re going to be confused, and you’re going to make mistakes, but never feel afraid to ask questions or for clarification. Depending on the type of work you do, one mistake could be monumental, so instead of messing up majorly, take the extra step and ask for some clarity. You might feel like you’re bugging the person, but in the long run both you, and them will appreciate you getting the task done right the first time around.
- Don’t be confined to your job title
Some of the best things I’ve accomplished in the past year have come from taking advantage of opportunities that may not be within my job title, but I still sought out. This can be a careful line to toe, because you don’t want to over step, but you also shouldn’t be afraid to ask for more responsibility or more opportunities if you feel you can handle it.
- Network-but don’t be obnoxious about it
Everywhere you go, every opportunity you have to meet someone new, use it as a chance to network. You shouldn’t be extra about it, but inquiring about someone’s experience and career path is completely normal, and could be helpful to you to get ideas about your own career. Plus, it’s always great to connect with more people in your field, you never know when you may run into them again!
- Don’t take things personally
Sometimes when things may not go the way you want them to, it can be hard not to take it personally. I know this from experience-that when opportunities don’t always pan out, or plans fall through, it’s easy to turn on yourself and think it’s because you messed up or you’re not good enough. Truth be told, sometimes things just do not work out. It’s still not a fun situation, but knowing that it may not be your fault can alleviate a lot of stress and inner turmoil you may have about the situation.
- Know when to talk and when to listen
You do not want to be known as the office gossip, period. It’s easy to get caught up in office drama or other people’s problems, but try not to give into it. Nothing positive can come from getting involved in gossip, and even if you can’t avoid it, just politely listen and then walk away. You don’t need to be rude, but talking about other people behind their back will never end well.
- You are your own best advocate
This goes into a few of the other points, but if you feel you deserve an opportunity or have accomplished something great, don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself. Again, you don’t want to come off arrogant, but know your worth and value, and do not be afraid advocate for yourself. No one knows yourself and what you capabilities are better than you do.
- Reflect often
Every few months or so, it’s good to do a progress check with yourself. Some companies or organizations have mandatory check ins every couple of months, but if yours does not, or even if it does, it’s a really helpful practice to get into it. I have to set goals for every quarter at work, and it keeps me on top of what I want to accomplish on a short term, and a long term basis. It’s good to give yourself a check in every now and again, see where you’re at professionally and personally. Evaluate what you can differently, or what you can improve upon.
That’s it! I hope these tips help any of you out there in the working world!