Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Career Success Strategy - How To Excel at Entry Level Jobs
Job searching today is already a job in itself. With many graduates released to the market where there are few job opportunities. A few are fortunate enough to start businesses, land jobs, while others have an uncle, mother, father or friends to help them get the jobs. A majority of them will however, float in the market. Your job search technique is what makes a difference between the times you and the other person gets hired.
Many employers are keen on hiring new employees in their companies especially at the entry level. The generation ‘Y’ which represents a new class of employees: this new generation does not only thrive in highly collaborative workplaces, but is now making this a key requirement in selecting where to work. Therefore, due to high turnover of employees, employers want to invest in someone who will be an asset to the company. Ifyou are one of the fortunate college grads who have landed a job, you have the skills and knowledge to get a great job and establish yourself as a bona fide professional.
Your attitude and work ethic will determine to a large degree whether that experience is a positive one and provides a platform for a viable career. But don’t set your sights on a corner office or six-figure salary just yet. While passion and expertise will help you get ahead, it takes time and a steady record of achievements to reach your potential. Your attention will soon turn to launching your career in a successful way by excelling in your first job.
Go beyond the call of duty. Demonstrate a strong work ethic by completing your assignments – no matter how tedious or tiring – on time and making sure they are error free. Offer to assist colleagues with their workloads or take on those tasks no one else wants to do. As others discover your tenacity and talent, they’ll hand over projects that carry greater weight.
Plan to arrive earlier and/or stay later than your supervisor to prove you are ready to work hard. Always ensure you are on time, make it a routine. If possible volunteer to open the office and close it. This shows you are a good time manager as well as responsible.
Show confidence, not cockiness. Employers’ chief complaints regarding recent graduates are that they expect too much too soon and presume they know as much — or even more — than seasoned employees. Understand that you will need to earn your stripes before being given greater responsibility. Doing an excellent job on every project you’re assigned while remaining upbeat is the best way to impress your manager and win your colleagues’ respect.
Observe office dynamics. Pay attention to the behaviors and accomplishments valued in the organization. Ask yourself what types of people seem most successful and identify what attributes they share. Consider identifying a star performer who can serve as a mentor and provide career advice. Also, note how the staff interacts with one another and how certain tasks are handled; this will help you communicate effectively with the team and make smart choices.
Take the driver’s seat. No matter how supportive or sympathetic your supervisor is, it’s not his or her obligation to advance your career. It’s up to you to build your knowledge and acquire new skills. Volunteer for interesting projects and pursue professional development opportunities both within and outside the organization. Take classes that will help you better perform your current duties or prepare you for more complex assignments.
Request regular feedback. Even if it’s not part of the protocol, ask your supervisor for a three- and six-month performance evaluation. Identifying your next career steps and discussing strategies for improving your overall performance will prevent your career from stagnating. Take note of the feedback you receive and store any positive remarks in a file for future reference — this acclaim will come in handy when you seek a promotion or apply for a new job.
Self-reflect. Your first job is an opportunity to learn more about yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses, the kind of work you prefer and management styles under which you thrive. Armed with this knowledge, don’t be afraid to follow a different career path than the one you initially identified. If you think you would be happier in another type of role, inquire about other openings in the organization.
Have fun. All work and no play could lead to burnout. Make sure to leave room in your schedule to socialize and get to know the people around you. It will not only add levity to your workweek but also help you develop your professional network.
Entry-level jobs may not be the most glamorous, exciting or well paid, but they play a key role in setting your dreams and goals in motion. Approach them with an open mind and enthusiastic outlook, and you’ll move quickly up the career ladder. Even if the experience doesn’t pan out the way you hoped, you’ll at least have a clearer sense of where you want to go next.
Labels: Career Advice