Don’t be fooled by what you see in movies, most people don’t land a six-figure job right out of college. The truth is you’ll probably accept a position you think is beneath you and be forced to work your way up. As a millennial with limited experience, you may be confused about how to thrive in the workplace. Fortunately, there are certain skills that make it easier to build a successful career.
No matter what position you hold, you need to be able to communicate effectively. Chances are you’re going to be interacting with clients and other professionals, so you want to paint yourself in a good light. If you have a big presentation coming up, prepare your speech and practice it in the mirror until you feel confident. Before you send an email, double-check for spelling and grammatical mistakes to avoid looking careless. It’s also important that you don’t use slang and emojis in professional documents. Save that for your personal texts and emails instead. Finally, be mindful of what you post on social media. Even if you hate your job and coworkers, you don’t want to bash them online or you may get fired over your tirade.
Nobody is focused on their work 100 percent of the time. Sometimes your mind wanders or you get distracted by coworkers, it happens to all of us. However, you’re still expected to produce good quality work in a timely fashion. Therefore, everyone can benefit from having good time management skills. At the beginning of each day, create a list of what needs to be done and prioritize your tasks. Start with the things that cannot wait and move down your list.
At some point, problems are going to arise, and your boss isn’t going to be around to hold your hand. So learn to think for yourself. Get to the root of the problem and brainstorm ways to fix it. If you need assistance, the Internet is full of answers to just about any question. Once you have a good list of options, choose the best one and take action.
Companies are always looking for ways to evolve and get better, whether it’s introducing new technology, updating their policies or bringing in new management. However, some people don’t do well with change. Instead of going into it with an open mind, they sit around and complain. Try not to fall into a dark hole with them, just do your best to adjust.
One of the best things you can do for your career is build good relationships. Most people spend more time at work than with family, so you don’t want any friction. To ensure things go smoothly, listen to others and compromise when necessary. Relationships are a two-way street so be open to receiving criticism without taking it personal. Usually the feedback is to make you better, not to hurt your feelings. If you need to say something where the message might get misconstrued, avoid doing it via text or email. Instead, meet face-to-face or pick up the phone to talk.