Sunday, November 16, 2008

Three Things I Wish I Had Learned Sooner

I'm always looking for ways to improve in life and in the workplace. I often find that self-reflection leads to new, positive directions. Recent events have made me realize that there are 3 things I wish I had learned sooner which I hope to pass along to anyone who is entering the work force:

1. Be the Master of Your Timetable
As much as possible, don't allow others to control your schedule. Choose when you will read and respond to e-mail rather than feel tied to your computer. Divert your phone calls when you need to concentrate. Also, even if you are an entry-level employee, don't be afraid to ask people to make an appointment with you or respect the boundaries of your cubicle.

2. Build a Strong Network
To most career builders, networking seems fairly obvious, but are you remembering to create strong relationships within your own organization? Remember, you don't have to, nor should you, do everything on your own. Find ways to collaborate with your peers to leverage assets and achieve your goals. If your own supervisor isn't supportive, seek out a mentor within your organization who can provide you with guidance and challenge you to grow.

3. Face Difficult Situations Head-On
When you face a challenge or conflict, it's tempting to avoid it. You need to resist this urge and learn how to find solutions to your problems. If it's the small task that you dread, do it first thing in the day and get it over with. For more complicated issues, especially those that involve conflicts with your co-workers, don't let problems build up. If you focus on making progress and finding resolutions rather than winning an argument, you may be able to find solutions that don't involve uncomfortable confrontations.

What lessons have you learned over the years that would have made you a better entry-level practitioner? I would love to hear your thoughts! For more ideas on being successful in the workplace, I suggest posting the article '25 Tips to Becoming More Productive and Happy at Work' by your monitor.


Anonymous said...

I wish I would have known how to be part of a community. It wasn't until this past year that I have really developed a sense of myself as a professional through the use of social media. It has been amazing! I'm sure a lot of students in our class would agree.

horley912 said...

Thanks for sharing the things you wish you had learned sooner. I also agree with Ali, I wish I knew the professional possibilities of social networking years ago. It's amazing to watch our entire class become social media savvy together, especially as we get closer to our degrees.

Angela Seits said...

Ali and Katie, you make excellent points! Actively participating in the public relations community is one of the most important things any practioner can do. I think many students would be pleasantly suprised to discover how welcoming the PR community is to students and new practioners who want to learn from and exchange ideas with experienced pros.