Entering into a new workplace for the first time can be daunting for anyone, but especially for young women who are coming straight out of university. What to expect? What to do? How to behave? All are questions frequently asked by young professionals up and down the country.
So, what advice should they heed and what should they shun? Let’s take a look at our top pieces of advice for those brave young souls:
Wherever you can, go for it
If an opportunity presents itself, grasp it firmly with both hands and go for it. Say yes to as much as you can possibly handle, even if you feel a little scared by the prospect. Showing a ‘can do’ attitude will get you noticed and you’ll pick up a wealth of experience and knowledge along the way.
Actively seek out mentors
Wherever possible, try and find a mentor. Don’t just settle for one either. If there are several canny women on your team or in your department, seek them out. Obviously, don’t approach them and ask them to mentor you. Just make yourself available to them and show a willingness to learn; elders pick up on that stuff and they usually spot a little bit of themselves in people like you, so they’re more than happy to help out as a rule.
Treat yourself as you would a product
Giving yourself the branding treatment will make you stand out from the crowd and put a stamp on what exactly makes you, you. Work out who you are as quickly as possible and promote your own strengths to your colleagues. Don’t rely on being part of the crowd; stand apart.
Take risks, but be wise about it
Although wisdom comes with age, taking calculated risks more often early on in your career will help that wisdom come about far quicker than if you were to sit back and let the world drift by. Risks present a huge opportunity for growth and can really set your ball rolling early. If you are approached about leading an assignment that puts you out of your comfort zone, do it. Offered a bigger job in another branch of the company, take it. All these experiences will serve you well further down the line.
Know your worth, and let them know it too
Sometimes, working hard simply isn’t enough. Lots of people work really hard, so standing out from them can be tough. Work out what you do well and articulate it whenever you can. If a project is in the offing and you feel that your talent can help bring home the bacon, let the project manager know. If you can be confident enough to show your worth and then deliver on your promises you will be marked out as someone to watch.
Learn as much as you can
Showing willingness to learn will put ahead of many others in the workplace. If a training opportunity presents itself, why not learn something new? Having more than one string to your bow can only help, after all. Whether it’s a new CIPHR online software system or a risk management course, learning a new skill will prove to your superiors that you are constantly on the lookout to improve your skill set.