Five Professional Development Tips
Transitioning from university life to the professional workforce can be a daunting challenge. Although the long nights of studying, grueling exams, and socializing opportunities will often have their counterparts in the office, there are still a variety of new processes and procedures to navigate in your early professional career. But don’t fret! These five professional development tips will have you looking like a seasoned vet in no time.
Ask What More You Can Do
When you have a grasp on your current workload, ask your managers what more you can add to your plate. Management loves when their employees take the initiative to go above and beyond their job description, and your superiors will remember your appetite for work the next time they award bonuses and promotions. Be careful though; if you take on more work than you can feasibly handle, you’ll not only fail at your new duties, but you may even mishandle your original responsibilities.
Learn From a Coworker
Take cues from an established, successful colleague that works in a similar position. How does he or she dress when a client is in the office? How about on Casual Friday? Make a point to observe them while they’re working, in meetings, and socializing in the office. As a new hire, you’ll have a grace period lasting a few weeks when mistakes are acceptable, so make sure you emulate a successful coworker before the honeymoon ends.
Be Prepared. Be Confident.
Write everything down. Don’t rely on your memory, because more times than not it will betray you. Organize a to-do list by importance with daily, weekly, and monthly deadlines. When giving a presentation, run through your powerpoint multiple times while timing yourself. Better yet, give your presentation to your roommates or family members. Knowing the information inside and out is the only foolproof method to confidently present, negotiate, and train.
When speaking to a superior or coworker, talk face-to-face if possible. Although technology allows us to connect with colleagues around the globe, digital communication can also breed misunderstandings and miscommunications. Speaking in person is not only an easier method of communication, but it will also build rapport with your managers and coworkers. If speaking in person isn’t an option, call on the phone before using text communication channels.
Set Tomorrow Up For Success
Before you leave for the evening, line up tomorrow’s work. Creating a list of tasks to complete and organizing the required documents, websites, etc. will allow you to hit the ground running the minute you get to your desk in the morning. Coming into the office at 7:45 am is already a task in and of itself, so why set yourself back any further? Make sure you know what you’re completing tomorrow, and have the required materials set-up to get the job done.