By: Arielle Bulls, Social Media and Marketing Intern
It was in the final weeks of my senior year in college when I realized what I wanted to do with my life professionally. Afteryears of racking my brain, I’d finally figured out what I was good at, what peaked my interest, and what excited me about the opportunities ahead. Meanwhile, the same students I’d studied with were one step ahead of me and were getting job offers left and right.
The thought of being an active adult in the working world can be nerve-racking, but I’ve come to realize having confidence and knowledge truly makes a difference.
It’s been almost a year since I walked across the stage with a diploma in hand, and in that short amount of time I’ve picked up valuable information on how to stand out in the workplace.
Typically, applying successfully for a job depends heavily on your resume; it’s an employer’s first impression and can make or break your chances for an interview. Let’s say you master your resume, land your first interview, and you get the job. Now what?
Whether you know what you want to do in your career or not, here are some tips to get you started on the path to workplace success.
You have a voice, so use it
Whether you start off as an intern or a new employee, there is a reason you were hired. Show your worth. Companies want your point of view so use your experiences and outlook to your, and their advantage. Lastly, never be afraid to speak up and share your opinions to make your presence known.
Do your research
It’s no secret that learning opportunities will arise within the office; however, working hours should not be the only time you learn new information. Using some of your own personal time to research relevant industry news to stay on-trend will do more good than harm. This is how you can sharpen your knowledge base and round the learning curve quicker. Don’t forget to use your co-workers to your advantage. They know their way around and can get you up to speed by sharing their knowledge and insights. Remember that tenure has benefits as well. Lastly, ask questions! Just make sure the questions you ask are the right ones. Questions can lead to a constructive work conversation and maybe even a new idea. If nothing else, you’ll come out of the talk with an improved and inspired mindset.
Do more than you’re asked
This is often easier said than done; however, you have to continually push your creativity and leadership skills when you start a new role. I was once told that when you’re hired to do a job, getting daily tasks completed is what’s expected. Look beyond your duties and really consider the growth of the company you work for. How can your ideas push the company forward? Maybe you have a creative campaign, or you have an improved and innovative marketing strategy. Could daily processes be simplified? Bringing those ideas to the table is the “wow factor” you can deliver to your employers. Pave the way to the job you want and deserve just by doing more than the job description.
Leave a mark
How did you make a difference as an employee? Whether the company is large or small, you want to make changes the company can benefit from. This tip goes hand-in-hand with doing more than you’re asked. Think outside the box and create a vision that fits for you and the company by setting and completing goals. Lead by example, inspire co-workers, and have a positive energy and an attitude that adds to company culture.
Be a team player
The professional workplace is much different from college. A lot of things will be new, so soak up anything and everything. Companies often look for a collaborator, someone who works well with others. For instance, your strategy may not always be the best strategy, but if you listen to what others say, discuss new routes or point of views, and join forces to create effective results, leadership will take notice. While confidence is key, there is a fine line between it and arrogance. Collaborating and compromising is vital.
The transition from college student to working professional can be overwhelming but don’t let uncertainty get to you. While the first day at work symbolizes a fresh start and endless possibilities, opportunities won’t always fall into your lap; you must always go the extra mile and put yourself on the path you deserve. Use the tips I’ve provided, and they will help you along as you forge your way into a new career.