I’ve been at my job now for almost three months. It’s my first real job out of college, so I’ve been making some spectacular screw ups and learning some major life lessons.
As a young woman in a traditional office environment, I’ve had to do some speedy growing up. And over the past few weeks, I’ve learned some things that I thought I’d share with all you lovely people.
- Don’t be afraid of taking up space
You were hired because your employers want you to contribute to the conversation. Don’t be shy to take up space, even as a newbie! Now, that doesn’t mean rattling off B.S. But ask questions and throw some ideas out there. You are the complete equal of everyone else at that table.
2. If someone does something or says something that makes you uncomfortable, speak up.
To be honest, this is one tip that I personally need to work on. It’s tough, particularly when you’re like me and loathe any form of confrontation. But an office environment can turn sour real fast when transgressions or inappropriate comments are made and no one addresses it. Speak up. Even if it terrifies you. Change starts there. In your actions. Do it for the person next to you. For all the employees to come. No one benefits from silence.
- Keep it organized
When you enter a space where you haven’t completely found your footing and there’s a lot being asked of you, things can get crazy quickly. So my advice to everyone: write it down. Get a notepad and write everything down- from the terms you learn to every single task you are assigned. That way nothing falls through the cracks. I got myself a little moleskin and it has been a godsend. And let’s be honest, any excuse to buy a new notebook is always welcome. #StationaryLoversUnite
- Socialize a little.
I’m not saying shmooz around the office all day, but it can be good to have brief conversations with people that aren’t focused on work. When you develop your relationships with coworkers, things become a little less intimidating and generally more fun.
- Come eager to learn
There is literally nothing worse than someone who comes to work completely apathetic. Show your colleagues that you’re genuinely interested and engaged. Or, at least feign that you’re interested and engaged. 😛 Ask questions on questions on questions. The more you ask the faster you’ll figure things out. (Pro tip: coffee makes this easier)
- Know your worth
Don’t let people trample over you. Just because you’re the new hire, doesn’t mean people can take advantage of you. If your job description doesn’t involve copying other people’s stuff and getting them coffee, then don’t do it. You deserve absolute respect from all your colleagues. Own your value.
- Give yourself time
If you’re anything like me, I hate not knowing what I’m doing and depending on others for directives. But that’s part of having a new job- complete and utter cluelessness. Rule of thumb for most jobs is to give yourself 6-months to get yourself up to speed. So know that the confusion you feel is temporary and you’ll become that indepedent #girlboss soon enough.
Do you guys have any tips for a young woman in the workplace? Let me know!