Saturday, October 4, 2014

10 Things to Learn from Your 1st Job

1) Established Trust

The 1st impression you want to give to your boss is that you are a capable and reliable employee. The worst thing you can do is causing your boss to lose trust in you, and don't believe that you can handle the job anymore. How to know? Its simple. The boss will initiate, or even offer to do your job for YOU. They will say "Never mind. I do, I do". When the boss said this, you know you are no longer needed in this company.

Thus, learn to establish trust in your boss. Do what is told and do it right. Volunteer to do things that are not told, but necessary. Show that you are initiative and keen to learn.

2) Contribute to the Company

The mindset of many fresh graduates is that they want to learn as many things as possible in their 1st job, and that's all. This will not work. They had to contribute whatever they learn from university to the company; whether is it knowledge, organisation skills, ability to meeting deadlines and attention to details etc.

Don't come to a company with a sole aim of learning, You have to provide VALUE. For example, offer solutions or initiate new proposals. And that's where you show your worth to the company. If you want to simply learn, be an intern.

3) Work with Common Sense 

Being green doesn't mean justify you for making mistakes. Always be clear-headed and know what you are doing. The boss doesn't have to tell you everything about the job, but you should know. Go find out and search for answers yourself by familiarizing with the company system, clarify from the start, listening intently to what your boss and colleagues said and make an effort to understand and internalize the procedures as you do it. 

Never expect or rely on guidance. Always aim to make sense of a situation. If not, advise from the department. Problems that you can't solve, please report to the boss and don't take things under your own hands. Never repeat the same mistake.

4) Be a Responsible Team Player

Being punctual for work and regular attendance are the most basic act of showing responsibility to the company you are working for. 

Most companies work as a team, not a one-man show. Absence from work will disrupt the flow of the whole team, as they are required to stand in for you. As an employee, you need to think about that and avoid any absentees from MC or Urgent Leave. Though unsaid, your colleagues will feel the frustration.

Always seek to make things easier for other colleagues. When they come to you requiring certain information, reply to them quick or inform them you will find out and get back to them soon. When you face hook-ups, don't keep quiet but tell to keep them informed about the status. 

Last but not least, do your work properly and correctly, otherwise your colleague will go feisty and crazy on you. It would not look nice if your colleague or boss spot your mistakes and voice out to you, leaving you speechless. Think and work like a Perfectionist. There is a limit to everyone's patience on the number of mistakes you make. 

Hence, always double check every document to ensure it is error-free before you hand over to your boss and colleagues. 

6) Integrity

Integrity is an unspoken and unwritten rule-of-thumb that every employee must possess. If you play truant in school or lie to your parents before, you would pass this trait to the workplace as well. When you were told by your boss to do something and you did not do it, you should admit it even if you know you would get scolded. Boss are not stupid. They know if you are lying or not. They will see through it and never trust you again. Just like taking a sick leave, but unable to produce an MC. You are spoiling your own reputation.

Thus, always be honest no matter what circumstances. Don't do anything unethical or abuse your staff benefits. It will seem too obvious if it happened often.

7) Foster Good Relationships with Colleagues

This above is one-kind-of-a-skill. In life, doing a job well is not enough. You also have to well-liked by your peers. Charisma is a skill you need to have if you want to climb higher in your career. In office, you had to interact with various department to get things done, and that's when your performance is being observed. Thus, the impression that you portray to people during the job is important, as colleagues are also your assessor. 

If you constantly do something wrong, other colleagues will see and spread to other department like wildfire and the whole office won't want to be associate with you as you spell trouble. In a manager meeting, everybody will also not put you a good light in front of the director. It is a matter of time that you be out of the company as nobody have confidence in your ability. You must be able to meet your colleagues expectations.

Other than that, you must also take initiative to help out your colleagues, without being told. For example, help to boil water when it is finished, help them out when printer not working, or even offer to throw their packets after eating etc. Though unsaid, colleagues will quietly appreciate it. 

8) Prioritize Workload 

When you have been in a company for a month, the amount of work will increase day by day, week by week. Most of the time, you planned to do something for the day, but your boss suddenly give you a new assignment. What to do? Do the boss assignment first, no matter how busy you are at that point of time. The reason being, it is urgent. Your boss will expect you to act on it on the spot and ask for it after 1-2 hours later. You cannot say you have not done it yet.

And that explains why good time management is a must-have skill for all employers. Additional work is unpredictable.  Finish up pending work on that day you wish to finish, without procrastination. Because when you fail to do so, you are adding on to your burden the next day, which will keep on snowballing until it is out of control. Soon, you will realize it is too late to follow up from there.

9) Maturity is Key

Working is not schooling. Everything you do in work had repercussions. It is not like school where you simply fail a test if you didn't study, or served few hours detention when you are late without affecting anyone but yourself. In real life, when you work as an executive that served members or clients, you are not representing just yourself, but also the company. Any thing that you say or do wrongly can affect the company in a bad way.

For example, when you didn't reply or respond late to a client's email request, the customer won't blame the employee, but will blame the company as a whole by having a bad perception on their overall service. When you the employee make a mistake on the clients marketing collaterals, and everybody know it is you who didn't check properly, they won't blame you, they will again blame the company as a whole, as they allow this to happen by hiring people like you.

Hence, it is critical to be mature in your actions, whether is it at home, outside or at work. Whatever you do will implicate many, other parties. The consequence is not so simple as it seems, as we are talking about real world now.

10) Be Respectful

Boss are like your mentors. The words they say to you is like money putting in your pocket. Listen and act on it. You can ask them why, but don't challenge their way of doing business. After all, they have been through your level and they know what they are talking about.