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Pretty Good Advice for Those Starting New Careers

By JLP | August 31, 2006

Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney senior writer, has written a pretty good article titled The Get Started Guide to Making it, which offers the following five tips for those just starting out in their careers:

Ask for help, then take charge

In other words, don’t mess something up because you are too scared to ask for help. But, try not to ask too many questions.

Know the boss

Who are you working for? I remember back in my grocery store days, I used to watch my manager and whatever he did, I did. So, if I saw him pick up trash, I picked up trash. I didn’t do it in a “brown nosing” sort of way. I did it, because I knew that was what was important to my boss. Picking up trash is a no-brainer, but I can tell you that MOST employees will walk past a piece of trash and not think twice about picking it up.

Cultivate good relationships

Relationships will be the key to success. I recommend EVERYONE read Harvey Mackay’s Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty. It’s not hard to think about other people. You just have to do it!

Don’t watch the clock

I HATE it when people have to leave right on time, no matter what they are in the middle of doing. Yes, I think companies should not get in the habit of making people work overtime all the time. However, if there is a project that MUST get done, then the person working on that project should stay to get it done. Oh, and if you ever have to stay late, DON’T COMPLAIN! Nobody wants to hear it.

But know when to go

Dont’ get stuck somewhere you don’t need to be.

My main advice is to TAKE the INITIATIVE! I thought the author’s advice was perfect when she said:

What is welcome, however, is the employee who is proactive about figuring out what needs to be done and then doing it. One of the biggest mistakes new recruits can make, said another manager, is to assume that when they have nothing to do that there is nothing to do.

I used to witness this all the time. When you are on the clock, if you are just standing around, then you are stealing. It’s that plain and simple.

Anyway, read the article. I’d like to hear any advice you have.

Topics: Personal Growth | 4 Comments »


4 Responses to “Pretty Good Advice for Those Starting New Careers”

  1. Hazzard Says:
    August 31st, 2006 at 8:31 am

    What’s interesting is that so much of this is just people skills. I call it relationship management. Watching to be sure you understood your bosses priorities is just smart. I also like to check in once in awhile to make sure my boss knows what I think my priorities are, and then ask him if he’s good with those priorities.

    Above all, I always try to be the most reliable, hard working people on the team. When it comes to layoffs etc, I want them to think, “How could we possibly get by without him?”

  2. JLP Says:
    August 31st, 2006 at 8:34 am

    Hazzard,

    It’s funny HOW EASY IT IS TO STAND OUT! With so many lazy slackers out there, a person who actually does their job stands out.

    I get irritated even today when I’m at a grocery store and I see an employee dragging their feet. I want to say something but since I’m no longer in that business, it isn’t my place!

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Kayla Says:
    August 31st, 2006 at 9:07 am

    These are some simple rules that most people don’t grasp. As you stated, it’s funny how easy it is to stand out. I definitely stand out amongst my coworkers, and man, you can see some of the envy and jealousy behind the treatment I receive rom my superiors. I do my job to the best of my ability; I’ve made a relationship with my supervisor, I work and don’t look at the clock, but I know when to wrap things up. I also show initiative in trying to get things done. I don’t wait around for someone to tell me what needs to be done. My supervisors like that, so they come to me to get things done. It’s just in me, and it’s a plus that I love my job. :-) Great post and definitely in my back yard. You have great stuff here. That’s why I linked you. Thanks for stopping by my spot.

  4. Amanda Says:
    August 31st, 2006 at 12:03 pm

    I think these are great recommendations. A lot of my peers graduated without having ever stepped foot in a corporate office and with no idea how to behave or perform in order to get noticed. I would have to add:

    Take an Internship during college. You’ll learn a lot of office basics and come into your first job ready for anything.

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