3 Ways To Succeed On Your First Job (or Any Job)
You've heard the real estate cliché: the three factors that determine a property's value are location, location, location.
Well, here's an instant cliché about creating value on the job: to succeed, you need to work, work, work.
But there's more to success than 80-hour workweeks.
You have to do the right things in the right amount to get ahead, according to employment expert Ramon Greenwood. He's a former Senior Vice President at American Express and author of the book, "How to Land Your First Job and Make a Success of It." He operates CommonSenseAtWork.com.
Greenwood's insights, while especially relevant for new graduates entering the workforce, will help anyone of any age who has to earn a paycheck.
Here are three of his most valuable tips for success on the job.
1) Work hard at the right things.
"First, understand what it is you're doing and why you're doing it, so you can figure out how to do it better," says Greenwood.
In other words, make sure you know why you're on the payroll. What exactly are you getting paid to do? Make money? Save money? Both? Ask your boss to spell out which job duties will determine your success. Then focus on doing those critical few things well.
Once you know what to do, a great way to get more of it done is to arrive early and stay late.
"Get to work 30 minutes before the starting time. You can get routine chores out of the way and organize your day's work before the interruptions start. Often you will find your boss is in early, too, so this is a great time to get better acquainted with him or her. At the end of the day, stay at least 15 to 30 minutes after hours. Clean up your work place and make a list of actions to take the next day," advises Greenwood.
This one thing -- starting 30 minutes early and staying 30 minutes late -- will give you an extra 20 hours of productivity every month. That's equal to six full working weeks every year. Now, do you think you might get noticed by the boss if you worked six weeks more than everyone else?
2) Seek out responsibility.
Most people instinctively run from responsibility, like cats from a hose. Call it human nature. But this opens the door for anyone willing to take on new, more challenging tasks.
"When it comes to responsibility, you can dodge it, accept it when you have no other choice, or seek it out and take it on," says Greenwood.
Prove this for yourself. Look around your office. You'll find the most successful people at work are those who seek out new responsibilities. (If not, you're likely at a company where the top employees all refer to the boss as "Mom" or "Dad.")
From my own 20+ years of experience, I can verify that anyone who volunteers for the tasks and responsibilities that nobody else wants will make himself indispensable. You can literally become "fireproof" this way and create real job security for yourself.
3) Don't be afraid to ask for help.
We all know men hate to ask for directions. (That's why man put GPS navigation systems in cars.) But work is different. Man or woman, you'll never become an all-star employee if you never seek assistance.
"It takes courage to ask for help, but you'll be better off when you do and ultimately, you'll be better respected," says Greenwood.
After all, you can't be expected to know everything. Asking for help is a sign of strength. It shows to others that you are confident and focused on producing results.
So, find a mentor who will take you under their wing and share their experience. Good news: this is easy to do, since roughly 100% of folks are flattered and willing to help when asked for advice. Just be sure not to abuse the privilege and dump every minor problem in your mentor's lap.
These real-world tips from a former executive won't guarantee you a promotion in 30 days. But they will increase your odds for success on your current job and throughout your career.
Best of luck to you!
Kevin Donlin is President of Guaranteed Resumes.
Since 1996, he and his team have provided resumes, cover letters and online job-search assistance to clients in all 50 states and 23 countries. Kevin has been interviewed by USA Today, CBS MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly, CBS Radio, and many others.
As a reader of this publication, you're eligible for a special offer. Get your Free Job Search Kit ($25.00 value) at the Guaranteed Resumes Web site - http://www.gresumes.com
Employment Under A Microscope
A certain amount of oversight is involved in almost any job. The more important, the more highly skilled, the more successful the position, the lower the degree of oversight. At the bottom rung of the economic and social ladder - the laborers, the...(related: Employment)
Tips On Finding Employment As A Corporate Flight Attendant
I will not pretend that this is the easiest topic to write about. In fact, my knowledge of how one f...(related: Employment)
Unlimit Your Life!
Do you have a tendency to think in absolutes?Is everything good or bad, black or white?This type of thinking can severely limit your options. Or worse, prevent you from getting an accurate picture of what'spossible.Most people are uncomfortable hanging out in the "I don't know"space. The anxiety of not knowing triggers a rush to decisionmaking. However, learning how to deal with periods of uncertainty while weighing your options will afford you thetime to make a superior choice.So how do you do this? Try a new approach and get support.Broaden Your ReachSuppose you wanted to explore career options. If you usually get advice from one or two people, instead make a list of everypossible person w...(related: Employment)
Get In The Game With A Stellar Resume
During the job hunter's market of the 1990's, employers were settling for less than qualified candidates because the candidate pool was so small. Job hunters were able to name their price and employers were meeting their demands.The job climate is much different today than it was a few years ago. Job hunters have forgotten how to present themselves to a prospective employer. Their job search skills are poor and they are struggling to find employment.In today's job market, a resume which highlights accomplishments and skills is essential for career success. It is time to get back to...(related: Employment)
Resumes That Work: 3 Steps To More And Better Interviews
All of us involved with helping you get a new job, whether as third party recruiters or as representatives of a company, are evaluating you for employment are all receiving hundreds of emailed resumes a day. Having done professional search work for more than thirty years, I have seen both resumes change and how they are delivered change. The change in delivery means that how you think of your resume being seen needs to change too.1. Few people are really looking at resumes in the traditional sense of pieces of paper. They are looking at screen shots of approximately 1/4 -1/3 of a page per shot and attempting to make decisions based upon a few quick Page-Downs (or PgDn on your keyboard). For this reason you need to think of your resume in a different way than you may have before. Critica...(related: Employment)
Petite Modeling: Is There A Career For You?
PEtite modeling is a tough industry to break into. Especially since most modeling agencies won't represent models unless they're 5 feet and 9 inches tall or taller. Have you had people tell you're cute? Do you hear all the time "you should be a model"? But you just don't qualify for the strict standards that most modeling angencies have?Rest assured there is a career out there for the petite model. There is work in the worlds of the fashion, commercial, editorial and many other industries for the less 5 feet 9 inch models. There is even work for models as short as 5 feet tall.Most of the work in the petite modeling industry involoves close up pictures of the face, hands, feet or othe...(related: Employment)
8 Steps To Getting On-track When You Start A New Job
Starting a new job can feel like moving to a new country. Your language skills may be modest. You have little knowledge of the laws, let alone the customs and traditions of the society you are entering. All you have is a passport and the goodw...(related: Employment)
How To Find A Telecommute Job
The answer may be easier than you think, but there's a catch.The truth is that you find a telecommute job just like you find any other job- with research, persistence and a bit of job search savvy.The caveat? Ever wonder why more companies don't advertise telecommute jobs? In this competitive job market you'd think more of them would see the benefits of hiring telecommuters. Well, many of them do, they just don't advertise their telecommute positions. The sad fact is that when they do, they are ...(related: Employment)