What is one thing you should do when you are starting out in your career?
Entering into the professional workforce, or even just starting a new career, can be a daunting and intimidating task. But it’s not entirely insurmountable. Just take it from these eight varsity professionals who offered some advice for those just starting out on their professional paths.
Here are 8 things to do when starting out in your career:
- Seek Guidance from Those with More Experience
- Embrace the Role of Disruptor
- Listen Before You Talk
- Identify your Strengths & Weaknesses
- Work on How You Represent Yourself
- Make an Effort with your Co-Workers
- Have a Website or Online Portfolio at the Ready
- Understand How You’re Evaluated
Seek Guidance from Those with More Experience
One of the best things you can do when you’re first getting started in your career is to connect with people in your industry that have more experience under their belt. You may be able to find these people through any internships you do, your new job, or even be connected through mutual friends or LinkedIn.
No matter how you network with others in your career field, use them as a resource for you to ask questions about how to grow, do’s and don’ts, and anything they wish they knew when they were in your position.
These people may even become your mentors and help lead you to bigger opportunities as you continue to cultivate your relationships with them.
Jacob Dayan, Community Tax
Embrace the Role of Disruptor
While you’re learning the ropes in whatever space you’ve entered, don’t lose your sense of creativity. Don’t lose that need to dream big and come up with something that causes some kind of disruption in the business world. If you’re in a particular industry and you see areas of lag or inefficiency, start coming up with solutions to make it better.
Don’t become that person who keeps their head down and follows the path of least resistance. Don’t lose that sense of creativity and boldness. Keep conjuring big ideas. Embrace the role of disruptor.
Chris Riley, USA Rx
Listen Before You Talk
Whenever starting out in a new career or job, it pays to be a sponge and absorb everything you can. Many people feel compelled to prove themselves out the gate and first impressions can be hard to rectify. Within the first few days, you will naturally acclimate to the culture of your workplace and your improved listening skills will help you ease into the flow. If you listen well, you’ll quickly learn all of the idiosyncrasies necessary to help you impress your managers and lead you up the ladder of success.
Ubaldo Perez, Hush Anesthetic
Identify your Strengths & Weaknesses
Not many people immediately know what they want to do professionally, especially in the beginning of their career; and yet, we need to begin somewhere. A great way to start you off on the right track is to first sit down and evaluate your skill set.
Don’t focus only on the degrees and certifications you acquired in the course of your education, but also consider what are the things that you’re good at and what do you enjoy doing.
From there, you can create a list of your strengths and weaknesses that can enable you to start looking for a career path that is best suited to your profile. Even if you don’t end up finding a job that ticks all the boxes, you’ll at least know you are leaning in the right direction instead of swimming against the current. At the very least, by identifying your strong suits and weak points, you will wind up fully prepared to answer two of the toughest job interview questions.
Maja Kowalska, Zety
Work on How You Represent Yourself
When starting your chosen career, working on how you want to represent yourself is crucial. How you portray yourself within the work environment and personally to your co-workers will determine whether or not it is the right fit for you. Also, presenting yourself as reliable, professional and loyal are all attributes that will help you grow within your career and have leaders trust and respect you as you progress.
Wendy Makinson, Joloda Hydraroll
Make an Effort with your Co-Workers
Making an effort with your co-workers when you first start in your new career is a positive thing to do because you start the process of making new friends, finding out more about them and their roles in the company and building relationships that will benefit you as you go up in the ranks in your new job.
Also, having people you can trust, rely on and ask for help will help your personal and business growth, helping you learn, adapt and understand various challenges that may arise whilst working at your new workspace.
Tracey Beveridge, Personnel Checks
Have a Website or Online Portfolio at the Ready
Your career is bound to have many twists and turns, and one thing that’s crucial to ensure you come out on top is developing a good personal brand and having a website that represents it.
Before you start your career, spend time and resources on developing a website that reflects who you are and what your achievements and goals look like.
This way, when anything significant occurs, all it takes is a small update. Before you know it, you have something solid that translates your professional journey thus far and can be used to represent you as an entrepreneur.
Benoit Lacroix, Portmoni
Understand How You’re Evaluated
Figure out what metrics matter. At any new job, there’s temptation to perform flawlessly at every task and in every area. But striving for perfection rarely leaves time to complete all your work, which can be detrimental. If you know which metrics you’re being evaluated on, it helps you determine what tasks to complete quickly and which are crucial for professional growth.
Vimla Black Gupta, Ourself