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.