You’ve done it. You’ve landed your first ‘real’ job and are itching to start climbing your way up the corporate ladder. But, this is only half the battle. Now you need to be prepared to step into that office and shine in your new role.
In order to line yourself up for success in the workplace, it just takes knowing some basic, straightforward tips on how to act and excel in your corporate environment. This list is broken down into universal work tips, and then touches on some specifics for all of the new creative, finance and marketing individuals.
1.The General Skills Arsenal
These tips are valuable suggestions across all fields and disciplines, and will get you started off on the right foot to grow your new career:
Be early, never late.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re a habitually late person, then mastering this tip should be at the top of your list. Make it a personal goal to arrive before the boss, and stay at the office until they decide the workday is done as well. Your boss may tell you that this isn’t necessary, which is great, but it gives you the opportunity to show your dedication, as well as asking them what time they would prefer you arrive at the office.
Don’t over imbibe at a corporate event.
Yes. The free booze at your company’s monthly networking happy hour is awesome, but that doesn’t mean you need to pound “brewskis” like you are back at your college frat. You have a well-paid job now. One of the worst blows you can make to your professional image is overindulging at a company party.
Deciding it’s a great idea to show your boss your best dance-on-the-bar routine when you hear ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ by Def Leppard is not a good career move. Sober, two-drink you knows this. Leave the beer bong at home, and keep it classy.
Lay off the excuses.
You are new to the game, and that means you are not going to know everything. So, don’t become defensive if a co-worker or superior has constructive criticism for you. This is a great opportunity for you to learn and grow, not to make excuses as to why you made an error or forgot a report. Be gracious, apologize and do better next time.
Be resourceful and seek out a mentor.
If you feel like you are out of your element and don’t know how to do something, be honest about it. Because you are new to the game, this is the moment when you can ask for help. One of the most valuable tools you can have in your arsenal for career growth and development is a mentor. The right mentor will be there for your questions and have a desire to see you mature and develop in your field. Take initiative and seek out the help of others that you feel might be interested in playing that role.
2. Surviving in the Creative Industry
Breaking into the creative industry can be a daunting task. The competition and constant change in trends and tastes means you need to be at the top of your game all the time. The two most important tips you need to remember:
There is a reason that you got into an industry that lets you delve into your creative side – let it shine. Stay true to your own style. Don’t go into this new opportunity and atmosphere with any form of insecurities, even if you have to pretend. Learn how to get rid of any thoughts of self-doubt and tackle this new experience with a fight! Other professionals in your industry can see through facades, and it won’t do your creative genius any justice if people can’t see the real you and what you are capable of producing.
Stay the course – be determined.
You also need to be prepared for challenges from others around you. Most likely, you’ll fail from time to time, but utilize these moments to learn. Then, dust yourself off and keep on trekking. Hold true to the foundational ideas that make you, you, but be willing to evolve.
One of the blessings (and curses) of this industry is that you have the freedom to be yourself. Take advice from those that have done it already, and you’ll be rewarded with lessons you won’t have to waste time learning alone.
3. Finding your Footing in Marketing
The marketing industry can be fickle. It’s ever-changing needs and wants in order to attract and sell to continually changing tastes can seem a bit intimidating to the newly-minted professional. True, real-world experience isn’t the same as what you’ve done in the classroom, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared:
Create a strong personal brand.
What better way to excel in the marketing business than mastering the art of marketing yourself? Begin by shying away from traditional run-of-the-mill resumes. Be unique. Demonstrating a strong personal brand will help you stand out in the office and illustrate your capabilities to do the same for your clients.
Learn about client etiquette.
Even if you’re new to the game and you don’t have your own client list just yet, it’s still important to know what’s appropriate and what’s not. Gift giving, for example, is suitable in some instances and sometimes not. Do research to know what is both expected and appropriate in building client relations. The sooner you master this skill; the sooner you’ll see your own client list grow.
4.Breaking into the Financial Arena.
A career where you deal with money everyday seems pretty ideal, but that doesn’t mean that it will be easy. Working in financial services can be extremely competitive, complicated and challenging. But, you knew that when you chose your field. Now it’s a matter of applying your knowledge paired with a couple important tips:
Be bold and ask for opportunities.
You may be nervous being new to the game, but there is no better way to prove yourself and showcase your abilities than by taking the initiative and asking for a project. The one catch that you have: you need to do a good job. It’ll take hard work; and you may need to seek out help (see general point 4), but there is a reason they say there is no risk without reward.
Build your network.
Yes, your focus is going to be on your career, but a great deal of success in the financial arena is dependent on relationship building. Be social (but remember general rule 2!). An opportunity to rub shoulders with superiors in a non-work setting just might be the best time to pick up some invaluable advice and help you find your niche in the industry.
Try not to stress too much about the challenges ahead in your career. The unknown is exciting, and you’re already well prepared. You’ve got the knowledge, and now you have the tips to help you be successful. Don’t waste anymore time. Get out there and shine!