Important Advice to Give to Someone Entering the Workforce
Let’s look at some important things to tell someone who is about to enter the workforce.
Choose a Mentor
You don’t have to go at it alone in the workforce. A mentor not only will help keep you on the right career path, but he or she can also offer sage advice that applies well beyond the building where you work. Mentors stand out because of the active way they guide younger team members. You do not have to find the right mentor on day one, but you should make it your number one professional priority.
You Will Make Mistakes…
…So, learn from them. Since there is no book titled “How to Enter the Workforce for Dummies,” you will make mistakes along the way. The key is to learn from your mistakes and use the lessons for future work-related project. You will be given a lot of slack early on, which means you have an informal grace period when you should get most of your professional mistakes out of the way.
Soft Skills Matter
You will hear a lot about why it is important to develop your hard skills, otherwise known as your technical skills. Although it is essential to enhance your technical skills, it is equally as important to improve your soft skills. What are soft skills? Think about your personality and how you interact with other employees. Perform a candid assessment of your personality and figure out which of your soft skills need the most work.
Network Like a Champ
You will learn a lot from your mentor. However, your career will soar if you learn how to network with your professional peers. Yes, meeting like-minded professionals at social events is an effective way to boost your career. The most effective way to network involves attending industry trade shows where you get the chance to meet potential customers, as well as other professionals that can offer you tips on how accomplish your career goals.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
You might have heard about the classic life lesson brought to us by the Tortoise and the Hare. Well, the same lesson that slow and steady wins the race applies to someone entering the workforce. You will not ascend to the rank of CEO is a few short months. When you enter the workforce, you need to digest as much as possible in as much time as you need. Once again, you have a lot of slack when you enter the workforce. Used it by slowly becoming accustomed to your new work environment.
There is No I in Team
If you watch sports on TV, you have probably heard an announcer at one point say “Well, the word is he wasn’t very coachable at his last stop.” As someone entering the workforce, this is the last thing you want to hear. You never want to project the image as someone who knows it all. In fact, humility and the eagerness to learn new things is what will separate you from many other professionals in your field of expertise.
Learning is an Ongoing Event
Make sure you apply the words of wisdom throughout your career, not just when you are a little green behind the ears. Pay special attention to the new trends and developments within your industry, as well as seize on every opportunity to attend training sessions that apply to your job. As they say, change is here to stay. The key for you is to remain ahead of the change curve.
Make Positive First Impressions
Even as a new employee, you still represent your company everywhere you go. Dress to impress is not an expression to be taken lightly. First impressions count, especially when it comes to your appearance. Make sure to follow company dress code guidelines, and then wear professional apparel that impresses everyone you meet.
Finally remember the timeless adage of “Patience is a virtue.” You will need patience to thrive in your new professional environment, from understanding the quirks of co-workers to the learning of a new decision making process. The average career spans around 40 years. You have plenty of time to get where you want, as well as determine how far you want to go.