5 Things A Young Professional Must Do Or Learn 1 Year Post Grad

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wow, I cannot believe it has been a year and a half since I graduated from college! I just celebrated my one year with my current job and every evaluation I receive I value the feedback and grow with it (my department gives quarterly evaluations). Looking at my progress, I have observed 5 things young professional must do or learn when they get out of college in the first year and land their first big job. Maybe you have been in the professional world for five years, and use this as a refresher of motivation.

        1. Be confident. It may be your first year post graduation and you are still learning to understand your industry. What ever you do, do it confidently. If you work with external customers and maybe even internal customers they can sense when you do not feel well about the work you are doing. You must prove to them that you’ve got everything under control or will ask for help to understand where you can gain more confidence.

       2.  Ask questions. Do not have a fear of questions. If something is not clear to you, you may misunderstand a request, there is missing information from a colleague, do not hesitate to ask more questions. Many work peers may be in an automatic state of mind and assume you understand it all. From slang, acronyms, and office jargon everyone may have a different interpretation. Some companies lack training for young talent and struggle to prepare their new additions with  the right tools to be the best they can be.

        3.   Ask for respect. In the real adult world you would think that it is expected and strictly enforced to respect all of your peers. Unfortunately I sometimes think I work with middle schoolers. I have been talked down to, rudely asked where I got my education from, and mistreated because I am a young, lack experience, blonde, a woman on multiple occasions. I have even been yelled at. When these occasions arise, I calmly request the person to please respect me. There are some characters that may take several trials of requesting respect. I advise to let your manager know about the repeating events and ask for guidance or HR to intervene. If you ever feel that you are not safe around a peer let someone know! Today, there are too many incidents of shootings or major conflict event where these may be avoided if recorded with human resources.

        4. Toot your own horn. When you have a successful event happen on a project, or receive a complement from a superior record it. Don’t be afraid to let your boss know when you do something  really well, receive a large compliment, find an opportunity for cost savings, or you feel like you have been really going above and beyond what your peers may do. Documenting these events and sharing them with your manager may lead to a reward when you have your annual review. This may lead to a reward when it comes time for a raise.

        5.   Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. I am a firm believer in dressing professionally. Do not get so comfortable with your job you are wearing flip flops and jeans/ yoga pants everyday to the office (yes, I witness this from peers that are in higher roles all the time). If jeans are allowed in the office, limit yourself to how often you take advantage of this. If you have a planned meeting with a customer you should dress more business than casual. My first two managers after I graduated both told me I dress for a job I want and not the job I have, and I should never change this fashion mind set. They told me I stand out more from equal peers when I take my job seriously and appear sharper than others. As a new professional do not fear a clearance rack or Goodwill for a nice blazer/suit set or business wardrobe. You can build your staples as you build your bank account with your new salary. 

                    I'd be delighted to hear your tips and advice for new professionals. 

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