If you’ve recently graduated, you’ve probably figured out that jobs out of college are not as cool as you thought they’d be – if you’re lucky enough to even have a job. Just because you’re starting out in an entry-level sales job does not mean you shouldn’t take it seriously.
To the contrary, how hard you work now is the key to success for the rest of your career. If you follow a few easy guidelines, you should have no problem impressing your boss and moving up the corporate ladder.
Brush Up On Your Speaking Skills
Despite what most people think, colleges don’t require speech classes just to torture students. Believe it or not, they actually offer valuable skills that many employees lack, like public speaking and giving solid presentations.
Even if you’re in a career field that doesn’t traditionally require these soft skills, you need to know how to speak to people, both casually and formally. If you can’t get your ideas across in an educated, easy-to-understand way, you’re going to have a difficult time selling – or advancing in your career.
Don’t Take Criticism Personally
When your boss gives you constructive feedback on a project, he’s not doing it to upset you or make you feel inferior. The purpose of criticism is to evaluate weak points and help you get better. Take it as a sign of interest in your progress – they say it because they care.
When your boss explains to you what needs to be changed, make sure you understand why. It’s important to learn from the criticism so you don’t make the same mistake twice.
Get Out of the ‘Participation Medal’ Mindset
It’s become national news than Millennials are notorious for their constant need to be acknowledged for everything. And it’s not all their fault – the adults who passed out participation medals and honorable mention trophies to every single participant in an activity instilled an overwhelming and unending desire for praise, no matter how small the task.
In the real world, there’s just no time for this. Your boss doesn’t have the time to stop and applaud every time you finish an assignment on time. Don’t get upset if you feel like your work goes unnoticed. Your boss pays attention to what you produce and, when the time is right, he will reward you.
Lose the Ego
It doesn’t matter if you graduated with a 4.0 GPA and had job offers from every top company in your field. When you start a job, you lose any sense of authority or entitlement. Nobody wants to train a know-it-all, and people certainly don’t want to work with one. You might think you’re coming off as intelligent and up-to-date on industry-related issues, but you’re most likely just going to annoy your boss.
That being said, you don’t want to be a wallflower at company meetings and in brainstorming sessions. When you have ideas about a project, don’t be upset if someone else argues against it. The same goes for critiquing someone else’s idea; you need make sure you explain why you don’t like the suggestion and what you would do to improve it.