Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Advice for a new job

A couple months ago, I received an email from a student who had some job hunting questions.  I walked her through a couple scenarios, she was grateful, and recently she let me know that she got the job.

Love these emails.

So she is starting her new job.  I get the nicest THANK YOU from her, and then a request.  She wants a few bits of advice for starting off on the right foot.

Here are my few.  There are so many more but these should get you started.

1.  Get to know the people.  Show an interest.  Learn their names (you would be surprised as to how many people don't do this).  You have time to learn the job and when you know your colleagues, it makes learning and doing the job so much easier.
2.  Be on time.  Every day.
3.  Don't push work up.  Be the kind of employee who looks forward to assignments, to getting work done, to taking care of things.
4.  Unlike good wine, bad news NEVER, EVER, EVER gets better with age.  You make a mistake, an error, lose something - take care of it right away.
5.  Ask good questions.  Write down the answers.
6.  Learn the culture.  The unofficial way that work gets done.  Learn who knows whom, who does what, and the difference between the decision makers and the influencers.
7.  Don't expect to be the director or the VP in six months.  Or a year.  If you want a good career path, keep going to school, identify milestones along the way, and be responsible for your career growth.   Own it.
8.  Listen.  Despite what you are bringing to the table, or the office, there are tons of people with way more experience than you have.  Don't talk over them, listen to what they have to say.
9. Don't get involved in gossip.  It never pays off.  It can affect your reputation.  Your reputation proceeds you everywhere you go.
10. Work to really understand yourself.  How you see the world.  Is the glass half full?  Half empty?  Cracked at the bottom and water is leaking out and you will eventually die of thirst? Is there so much water that the world will never be thirsty?  This paints how you work, how you approach problems with tasks and people, and how you resolve conflict.  Know these things about yourself.

Feel free to add others ideas.  My very best to you on your next great adventure.

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