Leaving college and entering the world of work can be pretty intimidating if you’ve never had a full-time job before. There’s a minefield of things you might not be used to; feeling like you fit in can take some time. Complicating matters is the fact that young graduates don’t have a great reputation; the stereotype is that they have come out of college know it all and that this entitles them to their dream career. How can you come across as confident – but not over-confident? Here from the Graduate Recruitment Bureau are some great tips to reach that happy medium. Yes, you’re young, but there’s no reason why you can’t shine as much as your more experienced team members.
Volunteer for projects
If your boss is looking for a hand with some particular task, volunteer your services. This is a good way of showing that you’re eager to help as much as you can and will get you noticed without coming across as pushy. Don’t go over the top and volunteer for every single thing – give other people a chance – but make sure your boss knows that you’re willing to help out without being asked first.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you’ve been given a task and you’re not entirely sure how you should proceed, don’t be nervous about clarifying it with your manager. She won’t mind making things a little clearer; you’re new and can’t be expected to get everything right immediately. Better to ask than simply carry on and hope for the best. Be careful not to constantly check in; you’ll come across as not confident in your own abilities. Keep a good balance; your manager’s body language will guide you.
Be a team player
In most companies, you’ll find that you have to work with a group of people on a project at some point, some of whom you may not get on with. Developing good working relationships with the people in your office is the key to feeling comfortable and confident. You don’t necessarily have to like them; the main things are being able to communicate well with them and work productively together. If your boss can see you are just as happy working in a team as you are on your own, it will make you come across as more flexible and well rounded. Hopefully, you’ll also make some friends in the office, which will make you feel more comfortable and happy on the job.
This may seem obvious, but it’s an important point. Don’t get into arguments with your boss – he’s been in the business a lot longer than you and knows better about pretty much everything. It can be difficult to avoid speaking up if you think your boss is wrong, but for now you need to go with what he says. Keep out of any work place gossip and avoid taking sides in any feuds; it’s a mistake to jump into conflicts between co-workers. Stay above the fray.
Don’t go looking for praise
If you feel like you’ve done a good job at something, the praise will (most likely) come to you eventually. You don’t need to draw attention to your accomplishments. Pointing out the fact that you’ve done something good will only make you come across as a little needy to both your managers and your co-workers. Move on to the next project and make excellence a habit. The team will be watching to see if your success is a fluke or a pattern. The only praise better than “she did a good job” is “she always does great work.”
Frankie Pocock is an online researcher and blogger at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. Her work involves PR and writing for young job seekers.
The Graduate Recruitment Bureau is one of the UKs leading recruitment consultancies. They specialise in placing young graduates into full-time or part-time jobs and internships. They work with many large companies, sending them high-level graduates to fill their vacancies.