When graduation finally rolled around (for me it seemed so fast and so slow at the same time!), I thought I would be relieved. Finally. No school, no exams, no group projects. Instead, I was stressed about finding the "perfect" job and freaked out over being thrown into the Real World. Even with a bit of a head start starting my blog while still in school, my safety net was absolutely ripped out from under me. Well, us. Most of my friends felt like they were in the same position. Even with the best internships under their belts, they felt nervous about starting a first real job.
Lauren Berger, also known as "The Intern Queen," has shared her tips for internships on TCP before... Now she's back with a new book about nailing your first job. To celebrate the release of her book, she offered to share some extra tips for TCP readers. I could not agree more with her advice!
Top 5 Ways to Stand Out at Work
First jobs aren’t easy and figuring out how to get promoted also isn’t easy. My first job was tough. My first boss was tough. But I learned so much from the experience. In my new book, Welcome to the Real World, I talk about ways to be successful in that first, second, or third job after graduation. Here are some tips on how to get promoted at work.
1. Assume that No One Does Their Job. I know, this sounds incredibly negative – but hear me out. In order to make sure that you are constantly double checking everything that you schedule and coordinate and to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks, assume that the people you are working with aren’t doing their jobs. This will make sure triple confirm things and go out of your way to make sure you stay in control at all times.
2. Be Armed with Information. You want to be fully loaded with information at all times. If your boss asks you about a project or why a meeting got cancelled you always want to have an answer ready. Your boss shouldn’t be able to stump you or ask you a question that you don’t know the answer to. Be in the loop and have as much information as possible at all times.
3. Take Perfect Notes. Write everything down clearly and have a system in place to organize your notes. If your boss feels like you aren’t in control of your workload and you aren’t organized, they aren’t going to want to promote you. They need to feel like you are in control of the ship at all times. Never assume that you will “just remember.” Always write everything down and have a system to review your notes and insert them onto your to-do list.
4. Network Internally. Everyone is great at networking when they are looking for jobs but they stop as soon as they land the job. Networking should never stop. Make sure that when you land that first job you are doing everything you can to networking internally and externally. Give yourself a goal and introduce yourself to at least 1-2 new people at the company every week. It’s important to get “face time” with different executives in the office. They need to know your name just in case it comes up in conversations.
5. Communicate Your Goals. Your boss isn’t a mind reader. They don’t know exactly what you want to do at the company until you tell them. During your next evaluation, ask your boss for advice on whatever your ideal next step within the company might be. Make sure you leave the conversation confident that your boss knows your goals.