Entrepreneur Tim Ferris wrote a book called 4 Hour Work Week. This book inspired millions to see their careers differently, search for ways to start their own businesses, and escape the monotony of doing work that they did not love. In this book, Tim describes how at dinner parties he has a hard time answering the popular question “What do you do?”. This is because he has found ways to separate “What he does” from how he creates income. He creates income by running his businesses, but on any given day he could be DOING a number of activities that have nothing to do with creating income. Now, you may not be a multi-millionaire business owner yet, but you too can separate “What you do” from the means you use to create an income. We aren’t all going to land our dream job right out of college, and everyday is not going to be a walk in the park. But it is imperative that we learn to find happiness each day regardless of how we feel about our jobs. Here’s how:
Effective communication skills will take you far as a New Grad in the workplace. An effective communicator can clearly articulate why he or she is the best fit for a job during an interview. An effective communicator can make lasting first impressions on colleagues and supervisors. An effective communicator organize a group of colleagues to work together and perform at a level they could not possibly achieve acting separately. A good communicator can clearly articulate complex information in a form that even the most novice listener can understand.
As a “new guy” or “new gal” on the job, it can be difficult to feel confident about hardly anything. We are trying to learn our job, figure out who’s who, and keep from messing anything up beyond repair. It is very normal to feel that way, and below I have jotted down 5 quick tips that I believe have helped me become more confident on the job over the last couple of years. Maybe you can benefit from these as well:
- Dress yourself well. This does not have to involve wearing the most expensive clothes you can find. But take a moment to ensure that you present a professional appearance to those you will come in contact with. When you look nice and know it, you will be more confident.
- Make eye contact. This was my problem when I first started my job. When you speak to someone, even if you are slightly intimidated, do not let that show. Maintain steady eye contact and
- Speak out. Whether you’re in a staff meeting, having an informal off-line conversation, or you’re CC’d on an important email communication, speak up when you have something meaningful to contribute. If you have a question, ask it. Do not assume everyone else is automatically more informed than you. Truth is, you’ll probably find that many more “seasoned” colleagues have the same questions as you.
- Be organized. Be prepared. At the end of each day, I review all the actions I took and all the actions I need to take the next day. I make a quick list of what’s going on so that if my boss asks about a current project, I have a quick reference handy. Before meetings, I put myself in the mindset of the facilitator. What questions might he ask? What details will she want to know? Then I go gather all the necessary information ahead of time. When you’re prepared, you will feel more confident and in control.
- Finally – If the company has been around a while, it’s highly unlikely that YOU will make a mistake large enough to bring things to a grinding hault. Remember, it’s all fixable. Just give it your best shot, then ask for help as needed.
See if any of these tips will work for you. Change will not necessarily happen overnight. (I’m still trying to work on keeping good eye contact). But, we have long careers ahead of us, so there’s plenty time to practice.