When I think about where I’m at in my life, as far as my age and my career and where I see myself heading, I’m pretty content when everything is taken into consideration. I’m 23, I’ve finished my schooling, I live on my own and fully support myself, and I have a career that I love. I’d say I’m pretty fortunate, but it wasn’t purely based on luck. I’ve put a lot of hard work in and learned along the way what worked and what didn’t. Today I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve learned along my journey to getting where I’m at now, in hopes of helping other young professionals as well.
- Take your placement seriously.
I know that not everyone has the chance to complete a placement while in College or University, but for those of you that do, take it seriously because you never know what will come of it. In my experience with my placement at Plan A, I was given the opportunity to transfer from my placement to part-time employment while I was finishing my studies and then full-time employment once I had graduated. I wouldn’t have been offered that position had I not worked my butt off during my placement and proven myself to my boss and my coworkers.
Even though you may not see yourself continuing on with employment where you complete your placement, continue to work hard and learn as much as you can while you’re there. The skills that you learn will likely be transferrable and the references that you can gain are invaluable.
- Be prepared to start at the bottom.
I recently watched a video titled, “What do you think of Millennials?”, and in that video the speaker discussed some of the negative attributes of the Millennial generation. One of the main things he discussed was how we feel a sense of entitlement to absolutely E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. We feel as though we deserve a higher grade on our final exam and the only reason we got a low grade is because our teacher’s bullying us. We feel as though we deserve a raise because we do what’s expected and we feel as though we deserve every day off that we submit a request for, even though we’ve only been in our position for 6 months. If you want to be successful, you have to be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up. The hard work and dedication will be noticed by your superiors, don’t worry!
- Ask for feedback.
When you’re first starting out, you’re not going to be an expert in your field. Asking for feedback and constructive criticism from your boss, manager, co-workers etc. can be very valuable. Not only should you ask for feedback on how you’ve done, but you should also ask if they have any suggestions about different or better or easier ways to do the tasks that you do.
- Don’t be afraid to ask why.
This is one thing that I’ve never shied away from. If I’m told to do something that I don’t entirely agree with or understand, I’m never afraid to ask why that’s the way it is. I may push my boundaries sometimes, but asking for clarification to understand the reasoning makes me feel better later on. Questioning will not only make you a better employee because you will have a better understanding of the reasoning behind the operation, but it will also make you a better leader in the future. Having the ability to effectively ask why and not simply stick to the status quo will allow you to push boundaries in a way that’s appropriate and professional.
If any of the readers of this blog feel inspired, I encourage you to leave a tidbit of knowledge in the comments for myself and any other readers regarding how you’ve gotten to where you are today! Happy Wednesday!