Career Advice for your First Job — Keep It Cleaner

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Career Advice for your First Job

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the job of your dreams, or one you’re not quite sure on – one thing is universally true. We all want our bosses to like us. We want to be the employee who they know they can trust. Who they like. Who, when a pay rise is up for grabs, or a promotion is on the table, will back us in and give us a shot.

But if you’re in a big office, or if you’re not the most exuberant person, how the heck do you stand out from the crowd? Here are some tips we gleaned from the successful peeps who hang around the Keep It Cleaner office.

1. Put your hand up when other people don’t

It sounds simple because it is – at the end of the day, the juniors who make an impression on senior management are the ones who will give anything a go. The up-and-comers who are generous with their time (and who approach any challenge with a smile) are the ones who are remembered for being genuinely helpful in a time of need.

 

2. If you raise a problem, also suggest a solution

This is practically the cardinal rule of excelling at work! Identifying problems is handy – it’s crucial to keep a business running without massive potholes appearing – but bosses find nothing more frustrating than junior staff members constantly pointing out issues without thinking of solutions, too. When you bring an issue to your boss’s desk, try to give them the problem, and, in the very next breath, your potential solution. Being the office problem-solver is a sure-fire way to get a promotion as soon as possible. Fact.

3. Be eager to learn

You’re young and new! You’re not expected to know everything about the business within your first month, year, or even decade. Always show a passion for growth – ask someone senior in the business who you admire for advice and feedback, or simply be present and engaged in office meetings. Put your phone down, ask questions, and take on feedback graciously and open-mindedly. Little actions go a long way!

Another thing that goes hand in hand with this? Take notes and remember what you have learned! There is nothing more frustrating to your boss than seeing you in a meeting without a notepad. It’s one thing to have a positive attitude, and quite another to actually put things into practice. Get in the habit of making notes and keeping a task list for yourself so you follow through on every little task or action.

4. Be on time, always

Arriving late to work – whether it be five minutes, or fifteen – is always noticed, even when you think it isn’t. If your job matters to you, show that by arriving on time, every day. Leave extra time for traffic or delays! If you’re not aiming to be at least 5-10 mins early, it’s quite likely you’ll be late!

 

5. Speaking of time…

Now, we’re not at all saying that you should work without being paid, HOWEVER – it’s not a great look to leave your job the second the clock strikes 5pm. Try to leave when you get your work for that day done, not when your official finishing time rolls around. Spend a few minutes tying up loose ends, or socialising with other people in the office; try to avoid looking like you’d rather be anywhere else!

6. Attention to detail

It pays to expect a high standard from yourself. Make sure you spell people’s names correctly in emails, try to rid your work of errors, and proofread what you’ve done before you send it off to another pair of eyes. Errors are human, but consistent errors look unprofessional and amateurish.

 

7. Go above and beyond

This might sound daunting, but there is one unavoidable truth about impressing at work: it’s not just enough to do your job well, you need to do MORE than your job. Earning a pay rise, or a promotion, requires more than doing a satisfactory job – it requires excelling beyond the boundaries of what your role is.

When you’ve finished your tasks for the day, it’s an awesome look to take some stuff off your manager’s plate. Ask if there’s anything you can help with, or even better, raise your hand for something that you’ve noticed needs to be done. No boss has ever complained about an employee making their day easier, right?

Now go KIC’ some serious career butt, okay?

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