Break Out Of The Rookie Mold
Breaking into the career of your choice can be difficult when you have had very little experience. College graduates are often thought of as the new kid or the rookie, but there are some things that you can do to avoid this label, because once you’ve been given this label it’s really hard to get rid of it, even if you aren’t the new kid anymore! Your best bet is to go in with the right attitude and avoid the new kid or rookie label altogether.
Remember That Your Education Will Only Get You So Far
It’s important to remember that when you are in a business setting that your personality, work ethic, and ability to get along well with others are more important than the education or degree you possess. Many college graduates go in with the idea that their education alone will move them to the top of the pack. This usually is not the case, most companies like education, but no one moves up the corporate ladder without putting in their time and effort. If you go into your new job with a “holier than though” attitude because you have a great education you’ll be disliked by your co-workers and you’ll probably not advance very quickly, if at all.
Your best bet is to go into your new job with pride, but be willing to learn how the company does certain things. While you may not be used to doing things the way that you are being taught, allow your education to guide you through the new processes. Being open to learning new things will allow you to see that you are even more capable than you thought, as well as proving to your new employer that you are a team player. While your education is important, it’s more important that you learn how to adapt your education to the needs and processes that your employer insists on. Those who cannot adapt their education are looked at and labeled as the rookie, and you don’t want that!
Not only should you be willing and able to do things the way that your company wants you to do them, you should temper your confidence so that you do not seem cocky or come off as a know it all. Many college graduates are so sure that they know everything about the business that they really rub their new coworkers the wrong way and they are then labeled as the annoying rookie. It’s hard to get over this type of label because no one wants to spend time with you to help you learn the ropes. Avoid coming across as a know it all.
Another mistake that college graduates often make is avoiding asking for help. You should definitely as for input, advice, and help if you need it. As much as it seems like you should show that you can do things on your own, you should ask for help because it shows management and coworkers that you care enough about your work that you want to be sure you are doing things the way they should be done. Asking for advice is typically flattering to those that you ask, so you’ll also be showing your coworkers that you value them and their opinions. Rookies don’t ask for help when they need it, savvy college students realize that sometimes you need help, so don’t hesitate to ask for help from time to time.
Promptness is an issue that many college students have a difficult time with. During college you may have become relaxed about starting and ending times, but when you get to the real world you need to be very aware of time and expectations. You’ll find that showing up a bit early for everything is the best bet when you start a new job. If your place of employment is at all flexible about start times it’s better to figure that out by showing up early or on time every morning!
In general, the best thing you can do when starting your new job is to know what is expected of you in every way. Knowing what time to show up, what to wear, what your job will entail, and what sort of dead lines you’ll be working with will help you define your place in the company. When you have all the information about your job you’ll also know who to ask for help, and how hard you’ll have to work to get the job done the way you are expected to.
Failure to know what is expected of you is a huge rookie mistake, so make sure to ask questions about every facet of your job to ensure that you are doing it to the best of your ability. If you feel unsure about any aspect of the job situation, be sure to ask your supervisor for clarification. As much as you may not want to ask questions or for clarification, it’s better to ask than to assume wrong. Your employers will value your attention to detail, especially when you deliver exactly what they needed when they needed it.
You can avoid being labeled as a rookie or the new kid, just be yourself, try not to come off as a know it all, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or for clarification. Having a balanced pride in your education, work ethic, and understanding of the place you work will allow you to thrive and avoid all those negative labels in no time at all!