College grads, if you are fortunate enough to have found your dream job, or any job at the moment, there are a few things you need to know in today’s competitive market. Do your best to be the kind of employee a boss would hate to lose. Follow these steps to make yourself indispensable because your job and reputation depend on it.
- Be on time. This simple action is basic, but powerful. When you arrive a few minutes early to give yourself time to get a cup of coffee and settle in, you show dedication and motivation. When you regularly arrive 10 minutes late, immediately walk into the office kitchen and make yourself a bowl of oatmeal, pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit down to put on your makeup, you are sending the wrong message to those who are deciding whether or not you are an asset to the team. Even if you regularly make up the time by taking a shorter lunch break (which most people don’t), or work later in the evening, no one is watching you do it and the message you have already sent is that you are not respectful of company policy. Arrive 10 minutes early, continue with your morning ritual of breakfast and makeup, and be ready to work when the clock strikes 8:00 a.m.
- Remember that attitude is everything. Show genuine enthusiasm for your job. Even if it’s not the job you ultimately want to stay with, it’s the one you have right now and you can take every opportunity to learn important skills and build relationships. If you are unhappy about a work situation, look for a solution. If you find yourself dreading every moment that you are in the office, you are at the wrong job and your negative attitude is not beneficial to you or your employer. Before throwing in the towel, try and look at your job with a different perspective. You can find a learning experience in every situation and perhaps with a changed outlook you may find you are more optimistic about your position.
- Don’t keep them guessing. Nothing makes you look more professional than knowing what is going on with your projects and keeping everyone in the loop. Offer status updates like, “Just wanted to let you know I’m proofing the report now and I’ll have a printed copy for your review by 3 p.m. today.” This not only provides a level of comfort to those you report to, but it also shows that you are proactive and understand the importance of your assignment.
- Don’t take anything for granted. When you are good, it’s easy to get caught up in a feeling of entitlement about your job, especially if you have a unique skill or specialization. Be careful not to overestimate your value by convincing yourself that you can’t be replaced. You may just find out the hard way that this isn’t true.
- Seek out the good qualities in your workplace, colleagues and supervisor. Give your coworkers a high-five when they score a victory. When your boss does something thoughtful, from bringing in doughnuts to giving you a compliment, verbalize your thanks. Everyone benefits from expressed appreciation.
- Look for ways to increase your worth. Learn all you can about your company and career field; join a professional association, take a specialized class or find a mentor in your field. If you’re ready for new responsibilities let your supervisor know about your interests. Take advantage of every opportunity to advance your skills.
- Dress for the job you want. Put some thought and attention into your work appearance. When you dress professionally, you are telling others that you are conscientious, competent, and pay attention to detail.
- Be your own boss. Ultimately, you’re in charge of you, your performance and your response to work situations. Always remember that you have the power and the freedom to make the best of your position or, if it’s simply not a good fit, make an effort to find another way to make a living.
All you can do is try your best so keep it up,