Congratulations! We have some tips to help you prepare for your career,
adapt to your work environment and get you ahead in the workplace.
Tip #1 : Manage your time
You may have many responsibilities to juggle, such as studies, family, friends, and your job. Having a job means you will have to rearrange your priority. A proverb puts it well, “One yes takes nine noes.” Sometimes, you’ll need to say no to nine other things in order to commit to one thing. Manage your time wisely so that you don’t crush everything together.
Also, it is a good practice to keep a to-do list to help you prioritise your tasks and remind yourself of deadlines.
Tip #2 : Know your organization
Understand formal expectations through reading your organization’s mission and vision statement, quality management documents, working manuals and procedures, regulations, guidelines and your job description, etc.
Observe people around for the organizational culture, norms and practice.
Tip #3 : Know your job
Knowing your job is fundamental in workplace. You should:
Understand the targets, deadlines, operational procedures, and expected outcome of any tasks assigned to you.
Be aware of your limits set by professional and legal requirements, organization’s policies, your supervisor and your competence.
Tip #4 : Know your Supervisor
Talk to your supervisor to discuss what is expected to you, and any major difficulties you encounter at your work.
Your supervisor may be very busy with his / her work, so you may have to take the initiative. If you run into any major difficulties, ask help from your supervisor.
Tip #5 : Be professional
Present yourself at the workplace in an appropriate manner (observe your colleagues for acceptable grooming and dressing).
Comply with the employer’s work rules, such as arriving on time and notifying the supervisor in case of illness.
Carry out work assignments in a productive, mature and professional manner.
Observe your obligations in business conduct, such as protecting the organization’s assets, handling confidential information, acquiring and using business information, handling conflict of interests, etc.
Tip #6 : Maintain a good relationship with colleagues
Having a good relationship with your colleagues is another key to success in the workplace. Your colleagues are a good source of information about the workplace and the field of work you are in. They are also your guide and support in the workplace. However, be prepared that they will be very different from you in terms of age, work habits and practice, values, etc. Look at these differences in a positive light. The more they are different from you, the more you can learn from them.
Tip #7 : Maintain a good attitude
Always be friendly, helpful, responsible, reliable, and motivated to all co-workers.
Be polite and cheerful; listen to others before you speak.
Try to understand others’ perspectives.
Follow an appropriate channel in terms of information transmission; and keep the involved parties informed.
Tip #8 : Be open-minded
Be open to advice and constructive criticism; think and re-think before you make comments; and definitely no gossips.
Tip #9 : Maximize your experience
In order to get the best of the experience, we suggest you:
Be pro-active and take initiative. Staff in your workplace may be too busy or overworked to take care of you.
If you are not given any tasks, remind your supervisor of your availability politely. Also, you may use the down time to get acquainted with your colleagues, organization, and field of work.
If you are given very trivial tasks, like photocopying or filing, do it cheerfully and responsibly. It will help convince your supervisor to entrust you with greater responsibilities. He or she may have given you the task to see how you deal with it.
If you are given a very difficult task and you don’t know how to do it, don’t keep it to yourself and pretend that everything is okay until the last minute. Seek help from your supervisor or colleagues.
Once you have been at your placement for a while, ask for more challenging assignments. Ask to take responsibility for a project or a component of a project that will draw on your strengths, address your weaknesses, and allow you to improve yourself and gain valuable experience.
At the end of your job, be sure to send a thank you note to your supervisor, recognizing his or her efforts and support for you. This is also important because you may want to have the individual as a reference for future jobs or graduate school applications.