If I Knew Then, What I Know Now (Commentary to my Young Professional Self)
- June 3, 2022
- Savannah Higgins
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Starting off in the professional workforce is exciting, thrilling, and also… scary! There are so many nuances and unknowns, but rest assured, you’ll figure everything out!
- Take good notes and ask questions!
- The workplace is VERY different from college classes, so it’s OK if you don’t know everything; actually, that is expected. It’s important that you take good notes during formal and informal training sessions because, trust me, you’ll use them! I still have my old notebooks from when I started my first job. If you do run into any roadblocks, you can use your notebook and see if there is something in there that might help; if not, then ask questions to your manager who will be happy to help.
- You can never be too overdressed!
- Dressing up for work is VERY different than college classes (and yes, if you are working in a remote environment, still dress nicely for Zoom calls 😊). If you see others wearing jeans, it might be best to dress it up a little for the first week on the job, and then go from there. Plus, when you look good, you feel good! It’s a win-win.
- Attend as MUCH as you can – networking events, internal lunches, etc.!
- I know it’s easy to skip out on the after work happy hour to go home and relax, or more budget-friendly to bring your lunch rather than go out, but trust me, it’s worth it to attend these events! You will bond with your coworkers/networking partners and get to know each other on a friendly basis vs the office environment. GO! Plus, the tuna sandwich you brought will stink up the lunchroom anyway, ha!
- Learn as MUCH as you can and build relationships!
- I think the best thing to do as a young professional is to learn from other more senior staff. It’s helpful to find mentors in and out of your office, and you can leverage those relationships as you grow within your career.
- Speak up and have FUN!
- Oftentimes, more senior professionals look to the younger generation to bring new ideas/ innovation into the workplace. Speak up and don’t be afraid to give ideas! And don’t forget to HAVE FUN!
When in doubt, believe in yourself, trust the process, and put in the hard work. Everything will work out the way it is supposed to be.