In a world that has been grappling with challenges, entering the workforce as a new graduate may seem like a daunting task. The effects of the pandemic, climate change, war, and the recession still loom large and have catalyzed great shifts in the world of work. Skill sets that were once in demand are now obsolete. If you are a new graduate and have secured your first job and are about to embark on your career journey, this article will help you navigate this new challenge.
First Impressions Matter. During the first three to six months of your new job, you will typically be on probation. Your new supervisor and colleagues will closely be watching you to see if you are a good fit for the organization. It is important to listen carefully, ask questions and engage with your coworkers. Do not shy away from engaging with others. Remember, everyone else in that organization has been in your position at some point, and they will typically empathize with you and give you pointers and assistance. This is also a good opportunity to build rapport with them. Furthermore, if you persist in ignorance, and fail to ask clarifying questions, you will make many mistakes that will damage your credibility.
Remember to present yourself in the best possible light. Understand and adhere to the dress code and code of conduct. Study the organization closely and understand the culture. It is imperative for you to find out as much about the organization as possible. You should understand the mission, vision, and values of the organization. What are the most important objectives that the company is trying to achieve? Ask yourself how you fit into the bigger picture. What is your role? It is important to understand what the expectations are of you in your new role. Take time to go over your job description and ask your supervisor what he or she expects of you and understand how your performance will be measured.
Gain the Trust of your Supervisor. Your interpersonal skills will go a long way towards building trust with your supervisor. You should try to understand how your supervisor works and what is important to them. What is their preferred work style and communication style? How can you adapt to accommodate their preferences? How can you help your supervisor achieve his or her goals? Emotional intelligence is also critical for you to succeed at maintaining a good relationship with your supervisor. Learn about emotional intelligence so that you can start improving your skills.
The most important factor in gaining trust is demonstrating reliability. Try to deliver consistently and to the highest standards you are capable of. Deadlines are important. There can be serious consequences if you procrastinate. Learn to become timely and efficient when it comes to completing your deliverables.
Going the extra mile will also gain the respect and admiration of your supervisor and peers. When you set high standards for yourself and you are willing to put in extra effort, you are showing those around you that you are a person of excellence and that you truly care about your role.
Build Good Relationships. Teamwork is essential to achieve organizational goals. Demonstrating that you are a good team player and that you can participate and contribute will help you to build positive relationships with team members. Active listening will help you to understand your team members and listening to their contributions will help to build your knowledge. However, as much as you should listen to your colleagues, you should be able to speak up and offer your own contributions. If you do this consistently you will develop your self-confidence and also gain the confidence of your team members. There is nothing worse than a disengaged team member that drags down the morale of the group and offers nothing to the project.
Embrace Continuous Learning and Curiosity. Continuous learning has now become the norm in the world we live in. The world is constantly in flux and new knowledge is being churned out at an exponential rate. Adaptability and agility are becoming invaluable skills in the ever-shifting business landscape. In order, for you to become agile, you need to be able to grasp new knowledge quickly and be able to apply that knowledge. Hone your skills by committing to continuous learning and embracing new opportunities. Volunteer for challenging opportunities in the organization and start developing your ability to solve problems and learn new things.
Curiosity is a powerful force for innovation and creativity if it is harnessed and used to drive new ways of doing things or understanding underlying issues deeply which can help one gain valuable insights. Question assumptions and develop your ability to think creatively.
Remember to stay humble and keep an open mind. As you begin your career journey, commit to demonstrating a positive attitude and embrace every opportunity to learn something new. Enjoy the process and this new stage in your development. You are building your career, and in the process, you are building yourself as a person.
Article By Shailja Sharma, SBS Faculty Member and Leadership and Career Coach
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