New to the job? Are you looking for ways to be a more valuable team member? Do you want to “get noticed” for the right reasons? Below are a few ideas to get you started. As New Grads, we often lack the many years of experience that our coworkers have. While you may be relatively inexperienced, with a little drive and determination, you can still be an instrumental member of your team. Take a look at these quick tips:


Be a Self Starter

From Day 1, build a reputation as a self-starter. Definitely be attentive to direction and open to advice, but also keep your eyes open for other things you can do to add value to your team. Finish your projects ahead of schedule and immediately begin working on the next without being told. Independently do research on common office problems (efficiency, expenses, productivity, time-savers) and come up with solutions that you can pitch to your boss. Instead of waiting for performance evaluations, go to your boss and elicit constructive feedback from time to time. By actively seeking constructive criticism, you will show that you are taking interest in your professional development and that you are eager to be a better team member. A self-starter is very valuable to any team. Self starters are independent, and they require little supervision. Your employer will be happy to have you around.

Be a Continuous Learner

Yes, you have just completed a rigorous course of study and are probably looking to avoid homework and classrooms for the time being.  But, if you study any successful professional, you will discover that they are lifelong learners. By constantly educating yourself and improving your skillset, you will become more and more valuable in your workplace. Attending a local college or university at night is a good place to start. However, learning need not be confined to the classroom. Joining industry-specific professional organizations can lead to seminars and conferences where you will gain useful knowledge.  If you work in Human Resources or Employee Relations, for example, you may consider joining the National Human Resources Association. Organizations like this provide opportunities for networking and professional development. Attending a conference or taking a professional development course through an industry specific association will help you become a more capable employee. Another way to be a continuous learner is to keep abreast on major current events that impact your industry. If you work in real estate, for example, you should know general trends in home prices and interest rates. If you work in retail, you should be aware of market trends such as consumer confidence and the impact of social media on buying decisions. You do not need to be an expert in every aspect of your industry, but just maintain a general understanding of the big picture in addition to the everyday details of your job. By learning as much as you can about your job and your industry, you will make an impression on your employer that you are going above and beyond and being intentional about your personal development.

Master Business Software

It may not seem like a big deal, but becoming the go-to guy or gal for issues with everyday business software is one of the surest ways to prove your worth as a young professional. You may not have an I.T. or “technical” background, but anyone can learn the basics of programs like Word, Excel, or Powerpoint. By knowing just a little bit more about these types of tools than those around you, you can be very instrumental in helping your colleagues meet pressing deadlines. Let’s face it, most people are natural procrastinators. Two hours before an important presentation, you will see a coworker scrambling about trying to fix a formatting issue or trying to get a report to run properly. If you know how to fix these issues, you will immediately gain respect. In the business world, presentation is key. Even if you do not understand the content of what your coworker is presenting, offering some help with the visual appeal of that presentation could mean the difference between a success and a failure. Local community colleges often offer half-day sessions on frequently used business tools like Microsoft Office. If you set aside one Saturday per month to learn a Microsoft Office program, you will be the resident expert in your office within a year. If classes aren’t for you, just spending time using a program will help you become more handy with it. Run reports in Access, experiment with formula calculations in Excel, learn to add special formatting in Powerpoint. With the help of Google and Youtube, it is very possible to teach yourself everything you need to know about these programs if you put in a little time. Expense reports are another time consuming office software. Taking the time to learn the in’s and out’s of expense reporting software is another way you can help your teammates save valuable time on routine tasks.

What ways have you found to increase your value to your employer? Feel free to share below by leaving a comment. If you like the info in this article, and others around the site, spread the knowledge by clicking any one of the available social media sharing buttons on this page!

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Jonathan (a.k.a. Newgrad23) is a recent college graduate with a passion for helping Millennials take charge of their career and finances from Day 1 after college. He enjoys blogging and listening to personal finance podcasts. When he's not doing that, you can catch him at local sporting events, music festivals, and near the best food trucks the city has to offer.
  • If I ever have the discretionary income I’m going to buy our old house….whoever in it got it looking like pure basura.