10 Ways to Excel in Your Entry-level Position

Entry Level PositionSo what happens once you’ve landed that entry-level position? How will you, now a full-time young careerist, fare in your first real job?

This job will set the pace for your career not only in how you perform your tasks, but in your attitude and the connections you make. That’s where we, and our mentors – successful people with inspiring careers, come in. We’re here to support you.

Here’s some of their best advice for your first year on the job:

Prove Yourself… Every Day

“Don’t ever take a job for granted. Every day you must prove yourself. I also think it is smart to identify your top ‘clients.’ This would include your immediate boss and 2-3 other partners that are key in getting your job done well. Understand their needs and their hot buttons. Ensure they become your fans.” — Tracy Cioffi, Vice President, Marketing, See’s Candies 

Understand the Company’s Leadership

“Lean forward with leadership. Yes, the Millennials need to understand why the leadership team is the way they are. Try a little empathy, bravery, and curiosity, and awesome will happen.” Joanna Bloor, VP Sales Operations & Advertising Operations, Pandora

Get to Know Your Co-workers

“A new job always provides ample opportunities to make connections. Don’t be afraid to walk up and introduce yourself. Invite your colleagues to lunch or coffee, get their take on the ins and outs of the city, and if that doesn’t work, come armed with sweets. Who can turn down home baked goodies?” — Dustee Jenkins, Vice President, Public Relations, Target

Express Your Ideas and Generate Support

“Identify the individual in the organization who you think will care about what it is that you are trying to do and be supportive of it. That person may or may not be in your department. It’s important to build energy and excitement around your idea and the more people you can get on board, the better. Also, developing a concrete and compelling proposal that demonstrates the value of your idea is really critical to getting people on board.” — Fran Hauser, President, Digital, Time Inc. Style & Entertainment Group

Leverage Your Success

“Work hard! Your success in one position will translate into success in another.” — Caroline Everett, Brand Campaign Strategy Senior Manager, Birchbox

Monitor Your Growth

“Keep a ‘real time’ resume. Every week, write down a bullet point or a few bullet points of what you learned that week. Write it as if you are already done with the job and working on your resume. The best way to keep track of your skills for the future it to write them on down in the present. You can use a free tool such as idonethis.com to track your work.”  Shama Kabani, CEO & Founder, The Marketing Zen Group

Never Stop Learning

“Always learn things on the side on your own to really set yourself apart!” — Carly Hetilinger, Director of New Media, Levo League

Share Your Knowledge

“I have found that teaching a skill is a great way to stay fresh and further your mastery of it. Seek opportunities for passing on your knowledge—you, who you are teaching, and the organization you work for will all benefit!” — Tara Syed Williams, Director of Business Analytics, One Kings Lane

Don’t Let Yourself Get Stuck

“I’ve seen people with masters degrees get ‘pigeon holed’ in support roles. Unfortunately, a large majority of women are often recruited into support roles and they usually stay in such roles. Over time, it might become extremely difficult for to gain the important skills and exposure you really need to move ahead and to brand yourself for bigger roles. While this is not true of all support roles or executive assistant roles, generally speaking, barriers to advancement exist for women in support roles. Weigh all your options, then, just start! As you begin, your career path will become clearer and take shape over time. I am excited for all the possibilities ahead of you.” — Cindy Pace, AVP, Diversity & Inclusion, Head of Global Women’s Initiative, MetLife

Keep Going, No Matter What

“There are going to be times when it is very, very hard. Keep pressing, keep pushing, keep trying. Don’t be deterred by those obstacles. Keep finding ways of pushing past them, without losing sight of why you’re doing what you’re doing, who your are as a person, or your passions. It’s going to all work out. It will be okay. Fight for what you believe in. Persevere. It is possible to make change in the world, and you will achieve your dreams.” — Binta Brown, Corporate Lawyer/Advisor & Sr. Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School M-R Center for Business and Government

Keep this mentor advice fresh in your mind as you continue your job search and career… and let us know how else we can help, in the comments below!





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Levo League!



Jennifer TaylorAbout the Author: Jennifer Taylor is an Editorial Assistant at Levo League. She was born and raised in West Tennessee, and made her way to the Big Apple in 2012 after graduating from Samford University. Before joining the staff at Levo, she spent a year working in the editorial department at InStyle.com. When Jennifer’s not writing, editing, or tweeting, she enjoys long brunches, live music, lots of coffee, and walks around the Central Park Reservoir. Oh, and in her dictionary, the plural form of you will always be “y’all.” Follow Jennifer on Twitter!



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