Graduating from college, you’re ready to take on the professional world; you imagine a giant paycheck and money to go out with friends. But, is that the reality?
Early in your career you’re eager to make an impact and land a new job. You’re also more than likely arrogant about how quickly your impact will be felt at a new company. Your unrealistic expectations become even more evident as you imagine landing a six-figure income out of the gate; after all, you went straight through your undergrad to get your MBA and there’s huge value in that, right? Not really.
you're 10 seconds away from joining the best club
The reality is, MBA or not, you have a lot to learn and a lot of adjustments to make.
While you may not realize it at first, after a few weeks in your new role, your head will start spinning. You’ll become very aware that the dream job you thought would be a cake walk, looks a lot like work and your stress will build. From dressing professionally to learning how to handle business meetings, your plate is full and it’s hard to figure out if you are coming or going.
To help, I’m sharing 4 things you’ll need to tackle when you start walking down your professional path! Let’s begin with the small stuff today; eventually, everything else will come together!
I’m as bad as the next person with this. I carry my phone everywhere and am constantly checking in. However, I’ve learned to check my phone at the door when I am at work, specifically when I am in a meeting with a peer or group.
Whether you realize it or not, when you look at your phone during meetings you’re sending a terrible message.
Although you may be intently listening to your audience while you are clicking away on your phone, the message you send by doing this is anything but engaged.
When you use your phone during a meeting or conversation with someone else, you come across as self-absorbed, unengaged and rude. This isn’t your intention I am sure, so leave your phone behind or don’t take the meeting if you aren’t able to fully engage with the person in front of you.
To Be Taken Seriously, Stop Saying “Like” and “Literally”
The fastest way to lose credibility with your peers and leadership team is by using the words “like” and “literally” every two seconds.
Often used as fillers or by habit, “like” and “literally” are rarely used in correct context. These terms dilute your message and cause you to appear unprofessional and inexperienced.
To break the habit, have a friend or family member secretly record you when you’re talking. You’ll be surprised what you hear when you play it back and you will immediately strive to improve your communication skills.
Do not be late! Whether you’re late to work every day or constantly late for meetings, you lose professional cool points quickly by dragging your feet.
Being late wastes everyone’s time. As they sit twiddling their thumbs waiting for you to grace them with your presence, they’re forced to focus on you and when you’ll arrive. If this becomes a habit, your team will no longer focus on you because of your awesome work, but rather your annoying lackadaisical approach to your work.
Being late causes leadership to question your drive, passion, and ability to lead. You’ll quickly be benched and left behind.
Remain Open To New Ideas, Especially From Older Peers And Leaders
When you’re in college you’re encouraged to push the envelope, drive your agenda and stand up for things you believe in. While this is advice I strongly agree with in all instances, I also believe you should remain open to different concepts and approaches. You only learn by broadening your sphere of influence.
In a professional situation, you can learn a lot from older peers and leaders. Tap into their life experiences and ask questions. You may be surprised that an older peer can relate to being a young professional and may be able to help you navigate choppy waters and drive your success.
Older coworkers have seen a lot of things work and a lot of things fail. What seems like a great idea on the surface, may look a little different after passing it by someone who has been there and done that.
About The Author
Andrea is crazy about running and is a member of our Accounting and Finance resume writing and career coaching team. She has spent her career working within the accounting and finance industry and is dedicated to helping you do more than count the beans! To follow our team and simplify your career, connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn!