Make the most of your entry-level job
Many top-level business executives, including some CEOs, began their careers in entry-level positions. Such positions may not fulfil a post-grad's dream, but they are often great opportunities for freshly minted graduates to learn about a given industry.
Like many opportunities, entry-level jobs are often only as valuable as employees want them to be. Those who approach entry-level opportunities with a good attitude and a strong desire to learn are the ones who are most likely to someday consider their experiences as entry-level employees as invaluable. With that in mind, the following are a few ways entry-level workers can make the most of their opportunity.
Maintain a good attitude. Chances are your first few months, as an entry-level employee will be spent performing tedious tasks that may have little to do with your long-term career goals. Approaching such tasks with enthusiasm may be difficult, but do your best to maintain a positive attitude. Your coworkers and bosses will observe how you respond to your workload, and that response can dictate your future with the company. In addition, those who are above you on the company food chain no doubt performed some menial entry-level work when they began their careers, and a poor attitude that suggests you are above such work will only harbour resentment among those who have already paid their dues.
Be ready to chip in. A willingness to cooperate and work a few extra hours when help is needed is a great way for entry-level employees to get noticed. But while helping coworkers is great, make sure your own responsibilities aren't suffering because you're too quick to lend a helping hand. Once you have cleared your plate, you can then approach your boss and express your willingness to help. Such gestures will be appreciated and will help you get noticed for all the right reasons.
Learn the lay of the land. Companies vary with regard to culture at the office, so while a casual environment might have prevailed at a past internship that does not necessarily mean your new employer fosters the same environment. When starting an entry-level job, pay attention to how the staff interacts with one another, including how decisions are made. Such information can help you as you look to advance your career and build relationships within the company.
Develop your skills. No one expects you to be fully satisfied with an entry level position for your entire career, so don't be afraid to seek opportunities to further develop your skills. Such opportunities may present themselves within the company via an interesting project or outside the company via a class at the local college. Take advantage of any chance to develop your skills, and don't feel guilty about pursuing opportunities that have little to do with your current position so long as you're still doing your job to the best of your abilities. A good company will be impressed by your desire to learn and grow your skill set, so don't hesitate to seek such opportunities.
- Metro Creative