Following along with this week’s theme, today’s Wednesday Wisdom is about how to make an impression at work. I started an internship right out of college, and when it was supposed to end, the company extended it five more months. A full-time position opened up, and I was very fortunate to receive so many recommendations from my co-workers and ultimately receive the job. I know lots of y’all are interning at the moment, so I wanted to share these tips with you, as they are what helped me to snag my first “big girl” job!
1. Be friendly to everyone. I’m a firm believer that kindness is key, but it is especially so in the workplace. With my previous employer, I was in a position where we were reminded that we are ambassadors for our city. It’s the same concept as always wearing your “invisible letters.” The last thing you want to do is be the reason someone sees your business as rude. Burning bridges in business is tricky, because you never know when you will have to work with someone again! My ex-boyfriend interned where I worked for five months, and we both made it out alive. So be friendly to everyone – the janitorial staff, the CEO, the most powerful person in town, the most normal person in town. You’ll be surprised at who will take notice.
2. Know why you were hired. When I was recruited for my new position, my now boss sat me down and gave me a list of reasons why he wanted me to work for his company. It was flattering, but most importantly, it helped me to take out a lot of the “guess work.” It’s more than knowing your job title, it’s knowing the qualities that you possess that help you stand out. My boss talked a lot about my personality and how I was super bubbly, but still remained professional. So when there was a board meeting on my first day, and I felt super intimidated and timid, I remembered I was here for a reason, and I brought my A-game (and a big smile!)
3. Take every opportunity to learn. One thing I loved about my previous job was that I was doing something new every day. To me, that’s really important in a job, because it not only gives you an opportunity to learn, but an opportunity to broaden your skill set. It’s unreal how many random skills I picked up with my previous employer, but also how many skills I picked up that helped me to obtain my current job and that help with my blog. So if your boss wants to send you to a conference, go! If you have to learn how to use a difficult computer program, do it! It may not always be fun, but it will help you grow personally and professionally.
4. Be a problem solver. I spent the second part of my internship under the problem solver of the office. Let me tell you something – that really affected the way that I operate my personal and professional life. After seeing everyone bring her minute, easily fixable problems that needed to be handled and got in the way of her having time to complete her own work, I decided I would try to solve my problems on my own first, and then seek help if I couldn’t figure it out. Remember Chicken Little and the ever-falling sky? Don’t be Chicken Little!
5. If you have a question, ask. This may sound a little contradictory to the point above, but I promise it’s not! I had minimal training when I started my first job, but I had become best friends with Ginny, who had the same job that I did for a different department. I really tried to be self sufficient, but I struggled with writing press releases. When I broke down and asked Ginny, she was super happy to help me out, and ended up mentoring me until she moved to Montana! Never be afraid to ask questions.
6. Know how to make the coffee. And know how to do all of the other jobs that you may feel are “beneath you” or don’t pertain to your position. I’m really thankful for my internship experience, because when I was hired on full time, I understood the inner workings of the business. I knew the procedures for opening and closing, I knew how to work all of the technology, I knew where the vacuum and trash bags were kept. I knew all of the less than glamorous parts of the job that more seasoned professionals didn’t really care to know. And I knew how to make the coffee.
7. Always be willing to help. Do you know why I knew how to make the coffee at work? Our CEO taught me. He is the perfect example of leadership, because he would never ask you to do something that he wouldn’t be willing to do himself! Sometimes it’s not fun to sacrifice your Saturday night to work check-in for a craft beer and cheese event that benefits your co-worker’s program, but you can bet that when you need volunteers to bar tend at your charity gala, she’ll be right there.
I hope that you found these tips to be beneficial! I’d love to know what your tips are for making an impression in the workplace 🙂 Feel free to leave them down in the comments!
Happy Wednesday, y’all! And if you don’t mind, could you remember my friends and I in your prayers for safe travels? We roadtrip to Savannah tomorrow!