Congratulations you’re a new graduate! Done, dusted and now on to the “real world”! But how do you go from student to high performing employee?
The world of work is pretty different to the life at college and you’re going to face some growing pains as you adjust to this new chapter. New challenges come with new responsibilities and a whole new rulebook in terms of how you are assessed and how to forge relationships that will guide you to success – so how do you navigate this change and come out on top?
From Graduate to High Performing Employee – Setting Yourself up for Success
The simple fact is that you can’t take the same approach to work as you did in college. Can you really expect the same methods you used to do well in school to automatically be the same at work?
The way your success is measured at work is different to what you have become used to in college as there is no rigid system of timetables, scheduled assessments and exams – so how do you set yourself up for success and add value to the company?
1. Ask questions! Your new job doesn’t come with an instruction manual and while you are expected to figure some of it out on your own, always ask questions. Sometimes it can feel like asking questions shows that you don’t know what you are doing but in reality, asking for clarity will go a long way in building respect and developing your skills, so take notes and learn!
2. Go above and beyond – If you feel you have the capacity, ask for more work! Maybe there’s a project you’ve noticed is being put off that you can push forward with? At the very least you will appear keen and capable and this is key to making a good early impression.
3. Find a mentor and speak to them regularly – Find someone that has been in a similar situation earlier in their career who has gone on to be successful. Ask them for their tips and tricks and use them to your benefit!
4. Understand your role in the organization – Another challenge you can set yourself is to examine your role from all angles looking at how your job fits in with the wider operation. By doing this you’ll have a better idea of the difference you can make in the organization and understand the unspoken expectations your superiors may have of you.
5. Create efficiencies and take initiative where you can – After you’ve evaluated your role, look for any pressure points where things don’t run as smoothly as they should. If you can propose any solutions to these issues to your supervisor, that demonstrates real creativity in the workplace and being able to think outside the box which are two hugely important skills that are well worth sharpening up.
6. Ask for feedback – There is nothing more beneficial than direct feedback from your manager. Once you are armed with information on how you performing, it’s a shorter leap to bridging any gaps, so don’t wait around for the annual review and instead actively seek out feedback and you’ll be much better placed to focus on where you can improve. This will also make sure you go from just being “the new graduate” to an engaged member of the team!
7. View every day as a learning experience and be humble – just because you’re fresh out of college doesn’t mean you’re not going to be able to kill it in the workplace, just take every day as it comes and learn from every experience – good or bad!