Listen, learn and improve

I’m a 25 years old- just graduate college and like me thousands of young professionals are starting their careers, people like us, should listen more and speak less. We live in a society that values noise and talkative people, but when we speak too much, we are not creating space for listening, learning, understanding and improving.

We should listen more, especially the experienced ones. We are attempted to consider (in our competitive society) that nobody will help us, but that’s not true. Some people do want to help us. I worked with a great leader once who gave me crucial advice and I end up have more responsibilities and challenges at work. If I just had thought that she was foolish, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to exceed in my position and I would have been just more an intern whose name was forgotten. I am proud that I made myself remarkable at the company with her help.

If you want to learn, keep your eyes open, observe what successful people are doing, what they are doing that is different? Which type of posture they have? These are not insignificant details, they are very important. Do good work is just obligation, we should exceed the expectations. How do we do that? Doing what nobody (or a few people) is doing. Observe and listen people in various positions within the company: Look your manager, her/his behavior, what is her/his working style? However look employees in the operational level too: look that production employee who has been working for 10–15 years there, what is she/he doing? How is she/he standing up for herself/himself? How does she/he exceed in her/his tasks?

Don’t be afraid of critics. Critics are great! When your boss criticizes your work (of course in a professional way), you have the opportunity to improve, to fix it, to see what is her/his expectation about your performance. If nobody says you are doing things incorrectly, you will never know what is wrong and you be making the same mistakes over and over.

And don’t be afraid of challenges as well! We just find what we can do, when we stop being afraid or worried and just do it! Be around demanding people; be near demanding bosses or co-workers, choose demanding teachers or professors. We just improve professionally when we are willing to take more responsibilities!

Ask for help

I went abroad for more than a year, and this experience brought me a sense that we don’t have to be shy or embarrassed to ask for help or to be curious. In my first days in Canada, I used to ask a lot of questions about the culture, about how to get to places and talked a lot with people from other countries. This type of posture I try to bring to my work. It is so much better ask and do the right thing by the first time than wasting company’s resources like money, material and time.

We work with different people who have different beliefs, values, behaviors, social classes than us, we should take advantage of this and learn as much as possible! I worked in a NGO once which attends immigrants, mental disorder people, homeless people and have an array of diverse volunteers. It was a very rich place to work and instead of just do my work with indifference, I tried to get involved with those people, asking questions, talking about their culture. We are going to spend a great amount of hours at work, so take advantage of the diversity of people you are working with and try to improve personally too!

Thank you matters

And of course, thank everyone for helping you, for giving you advice, for challenging you, for answering your questions….They don’t have obligation to do that, probably they have a lot of things to do, so if they are spending their time helping you is because they believe in your potential and want you to be successful! So, be grateful, cause sometimes just a 2 min-talk with someone can change your point of view and influence you to make important steps later. And these relationships works two ways, so if you have any idea about making their tasks easier or any general advice, tell them!

At the end, it is the way you behave, you listen, you take to heart the advice people give you, you learn and make changes to work better that will counts towards building the career you want!

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary it is just that little “extra””

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