All Articles Tagged "professional advice"
From McDonald’s to the Office to the Cotton Fields: 10 Successful Women Share Lessons Learned From Their First Jobs
Your first entree into the workforce can help set not only the pace for your professional career but also help develop your own work philosophy and ethic. We asked ten successful women about their first job and the most important lesson they took away from the experience.
Little may feel more frustrating and draining than working a job you hate. Leaving your current job might seem like an immediate solution, perhaps the only solution toward ending your daily drudgery. However, changing careers, especially during an economic downturn, might not always be the best option. After all, as Allison Green said in U.S. News and World Report at the beginning of this long and drawn out recession, “Switching jobs is always a risk, even in the best of economic times.”
An Honest and Personal Look at What’s Bothering You
To find out if it’s time to change careers, you’re going to have to be honest with yourself. Consider each of the specific factors about your current job you don’t like. If you don’t, you could change careers only to find yourself dealing with similar issues at your new job. For example, if you hate the fact that your supervisor doesn’t make herself available to meet with you, but you think the problem is colleagues who don’t socialize with you much, you could change jobs and still be unhappy.
Even with the risks, there are great rewards associated with changing careers: you could regain your enthusiasm, establish rewarding relationships with new colleagues, gain stronger work skills, and position yourself for promotions.
Signs It’s Time to Change Careers
Sometimes, the conditions at a company make it imperative that you change. There are some general signs that might reveal it’s time to switch careers. Among them:
- Your employer is experiencing significant financial struggles, perhaps on the verge of filing bankruptcy
- More and more jobs in your industry are moving offshore
- Job outlook reports created by reputable agencies like the United States Department of Labor indicate that jobs in your career are declining
- After attending training programs, workshops, speaking with a counselor and participating in a mentoring program, you still dread coming to work
Restoring Your Passions with a New Career
If anything in the previous sections rings a bell, it’s time to make your getaway. But bide your time. You don’t want to jump ship and lose a paycheck on a whim. Take your time and find that perfect job in order to make a smooth transition from one organization to another without any financial hardship.
To increase the chances that you’ll love your new career, consider your passions. Look for careers that help you fulfill your personal and life goals. After all, as Mark Quinn shares on Business Insider, you don’t want to travel to work and walk the halls just to get a paycheck. Transitioning into careers that allow you to do work you absolutely love, work you’d love doing for free, will restore your passion.
Quinn also says, “People who love what they do inject passion into the work, which often means they succeed at higher levels.” This passion can be seen by others, including new supervisors you work with. Passion for your new career can also give you the energy to generate new ideas and connect more deeply with clients and colleagues.
Rhonda Campbell, an East Coast journalist, is the owner of Off The Shelf radio and publisher of the books, Long Walk Up and Love Pour Over Me.
We’ve all been there. The first day jitters about starting a new job hearkens back to those feelings you had about the first day of school. In theory, they are no different. New people to meet and a boss (professor/teacher) you’re dying to please. If you can connect with those feelings, hopefully the following tips get you through the first day and beyond.
- Find a mentor, someone who has been where you are and able to “pull you up” when you’re feeling down. This can be a senior coworker,colleague at another company or other professional contact. In doing this, you find in that person someone to discuss your career path, help make important career decisions and problem solve issues that may come up at work.
- Learn the business/organization inside out. Talk to those around you about what worked in the past and what didn’t work and then work to implement based on that feedback a good balance of what works for employees and the organization
- What keeps your boss up at night? This is so important that I must underscore the importance of understanding and aligning yourself with this fact. Discuss with your boss the things that concern them the most and make sure that you’re working to alleviate within your power whatever it is that remains top of mind for him/her.
- Put your stamp on everything that you do. Do such an excellent job so that others around you know that only you could have done this since you went above and beyond what was expected.
- Seek out constructive feedback prior to your first performance review. This way you know early what is to be expected and how to correct it before it goes down on paper in the official review
- Befriend the administrative assistants. You’d be surprised how much power they wield with the higher ups. The worst thing you can do is walk in and get on a power trip. Respect their job just as much as you want them to respect yours.
- Take initiative. Do this and do it often. Nothing is worse than having to babysit a new employee into doing the obvious because they’re still walking around like a dear in headlights during the first few days or weeks. Now isn’t the time to flounder around in wonderment at your new space and new coworkers. Jump in, hit the ground running and get to work!
- First in. Last out. There’s a purpose here. Building equity with your higher ups and coworkers as a hard worker. Show them that you have what it takes to be a hard worker that gets the job done. However, while working hard, work smart.
- Avoid office politics. Every office has drama. Some more than others and often you’ll be forced to form an opinion of someone before you’ve had a chance to experience working with them. Do yourself a favor and avoid it. Employee 101: Don’t align yourself with negative office drama. At the end of the day, when you start being lumped in with the black sheep by your boss, your friends won’t pay your rent should you be let go. Be supportive, listen but shut up and mind your business.
Follow these tips and your first performance review is surely to go well. Not only that but you’ll thank yourself for staying above the fray while winning the praise of your boss.
Written by Ginger, CEO of Girls Just Wanna Have Funds ™- breaking financial ceilings, one stiletto at a time. There she publishes tips and articles that will help women light up their financial lives and take control of their deepest money issues.