It’s time to land a job.
And while there’s never been a more exciting time to enter the workforce, there has also never been a more complicated time to be in the workplace. So like everything else, you need to learn the landscape.
These 10 proven tips will not only help you do that… they’ll help you land your first job!
1. Commit to Life-Long Learning
Even though you’re physically out of a classroom, stay open to learning. In the real world, teachers are everywhere. You might learn an astonishing lesson about life from a total stranger on a subway, or be surprised when a new mentor shows you a profound lesson in business.
Rule of thumb when you are first starting out: Watch and listen twice as much as you speak.
2. Make it Personal
Even though our offices are filled with electronic devices to manage and master, don’t lose sight of the humans behind the keyboard. Resist the temptation to put headphones on, which make it impossible for you to hear and know things.
Once you’ve found yourself open to input, remember that people are your most powerful resources and the best secret weapons. Know that, no matter how digital our world is, it is humans making important decisions and exerting influence, potentially about you.
This starts simply: every day, smile big and say “good morning” to everyone you see.
3. Ask for Help
Admit what you don’t know. That quality endears you to colleagues. Seek to learn from experienced co-workers who will be more than happy to teach you if you speak with respect.
Say, “May I pick your brain?” or “Do you have five minutes for a question?”
4. Offer Help
Be alert to situations where you can volunteer your talents and skills, even if you don’t get paid additional money. These are priceless learning opportunities and also a great way to become known as a “team player.” Be generous with offering help to more experienced colleagues.
It’s called reverse mentoring. Google it and then give it a try.
5. Manners Matter
Young people who are polite and courteous are true stand-outs in today’s world. Say “please” and “thank you.” Open doors and hold the elevator. Workplace etiquette will be noticed and remembered.
Just watch the reaction when you intentionally power down your cell in a meeting.
6. Write Hand-Written Notes
If someone at work (or in life too) goes above and beyond for you, write them a hand-written thank you note to express gratitude. Contrary to what you might have heard, this behavior is not “old school.” This is smart business. I have lost count of the number of stories I have of the person who nailed the job mainly because she/he sent a thank-you email within minutes after the interview AND sent a hand-written note via snail mail with a real stamp. It told the employer that this candidate was willing to go the extra mile.
7. Take a Class… and Then Another…
To stay relevant, invaluable and employed: read, read and read some more. Seek additional training in areas that make you even more indispensable to your company and manager. Take an online social media class or a website design workshop at the local college. Ask your manager for guidance as to what skills would best help her and then she will most likely volunteer to pay for it. This is a win/win situation. You gain additional training on your company’s dime and your company gets a more productive and loyal staffer.
Reap the benefits at your annual compensation review… and then plan for your next classes.
8. Scratch Their Itch, Ease Their Pain
Be the staffer who walks towards a problem, not away from it. Raise your hand. Find a solution. When you become the go-to person, your future will be very bright where you get to call (most) of the shots.
9. The Basics
Dress for the role you want to be in five years from now. Be on time every day (which means 15 minutes early). Stay late when necessary. Work with a smile on your face. Be respectful to everyone. No exceptions.
10. Not Everyone Will Like You or Support What You Choose
This one can be tough to take. You may be surprised at the people in your life who are not happy or supportive about your choices or your success. Know that they will spring up out of envy or fear. Remember that their reaction to you, and your goals and dreams, is about them, not you. In the end, take counsel from the people you trust – and do what is right for you.
As you take your next steps, whatever they are, stay open. Keep your eyes open, your ears open, your heart open and your mind open. To do these things will mean that the sky will be the limit for your life.
Now the real fun begins.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Glassdoor!