Graduating students would like to find the key to success, as they enter the world of work. Since most have a limited amount of work experience and do not really know what is expected of them, they would like to find a proven path they can follow. Here it is:
1. Job Offers – Seek job offers in your areas of strength. Employers want you to contribute to the success of the company. You stand a greater chance of doing that when you start out in a job that takes advantage of your strengths.
2. Company Culture – Investigate the culture in which you will be working. What environment makes you feel comfortable? Every company and every department has an operating style. Do some online research and try to talk with employees, former employees, customers and competitors.
3. Co-workers – Meet and make a judgement about the people you will work with. If you hate your boss and the people you will be working with, it will show. That is not something that will lead you to success.
4. Getting Started – Remember, you are the new employee, “the college kid,” and you don’t yet know how things work around there. You may be book smart, but there is a lot to learn about the people, the products and services and the methods of operation. Your first job is to ‘fit in.’
5. The Work – Accept assignments and responsibility willingly. If you want to progress into the management ranks, you must first show others that you can get the job done as an individual. Later you must get the job done in groups or on teams and when leading a group.
6. Ask Questions – Introduce yourself to everyone you meet. Show others that you are interested in the job, the company and want to learn as much as possible. The faster you gather the information and learn the ropes the faster you will become a member of the team.
7. Your Attitude – Offer everyone a positive attitude, a great smile and a kind word. This acronym will help you remember that making a good impression starts with your attitude: A Tiny Thing Inside That Ultimately Determines Everything.
8. Preparation – Obtain the information, tools, skills and assistance you will need. Doing any job well requires forethought and preparation.
9. Be Helpful – Be willing to help others. Your willingness to help your fellow employees will go a long way toward gaining their support when it is needed.
10. Relationships – Build positive relationships with the people you encounter. If the people in the company like you, your chances for success increase. When they do not like you, there is little chance for you to survive.
11. Work Quality – Do your best work. Employers want people who perform at a high level with consistent quality and a high degree of reliability. They must believe that they can count on you.
12. Determination – Persevere in the face of obstacles and difficulties. Few assignments will be easy or go smoothly. Employers need people who can find acceptable ways to overcome the challenges they encounter.
13. Deadlines – Beat any deadlines. Oftentimes, you must get your job done first, so someone else can use your results to get their job done. Missing a deadline will harm your reputation and hinder the success of your employer.
14. Results – Strive to achieve results that are greater than expected. Employers reward results. Your reputation is built on the results you achieve and the way you achieve them. Pay attention to your results. Note: Working hard is not results.
15. Credit – Give credit to the people who help you. Successful employees do not operate in a vacuum. You must show appreciation for any help you receive or nobody will help you again.
16. Assignments – When you finish one assignment, ask for another. Learn from each one. Successful people expect to work hard and be counted on over and over again. One success does not make you successful.
17. Respect – You do not earn respect by treating people poorly. Treat ‘everyone’ with respect. Employees who perform even the most the menial jobs are important to the company. Gain their respect and friendship and they will try to help you succeed.
18. Politics – Recognize that politics exists in the company. Don’t offend the people in power. Determine the pecking order and operate with care.
19. Trust – Prove that you can be trusted. Keep confidential information confidential. Make other employees look good. Don’t gossip, put anyone down or speak poorly of them.
20. You Are Being Judged – Understand that you are being judged. Your supervisor, co-workers and management all want to know who you are. Over time, your words, actions, results and attitude will make that clear to everyone.
When new employees follow these guidelines, they will be moving forward, enhancing their reputations and helping their employers. That is the key to success after graduation.