Lesson #1: Get to know the company that just hired you, intimately.
Review your company’s website and annual report, and you’ll learn more about your company than most people will ever know. Always take advantage of tours of company facilities and join an internal club or group that will help you grow your knowledge. Know your company’s history as well as its future plans.
Lesson #2: Show pride in the company you work for.
Be proud, optimistic, and excited about your company. Wear your company’s logo on your sleeve, literally. You have a responsibility to be an advocate. Nobody likes a complainer. There’s too many of them around anyway. Be the one who smiles and says hello as you walk down the hallway.
Lesson #3: Be prepared for what they didn’t tell you.
On the interview, they never tell you the whole story, and always make it sound rosier than it actually is. So know what you’re walking into, and expect it to be worse than they’re telling you. This isn’t necessarily bad, as it represents plenty of opportunity for improvement, skills development and growth.
Lesson #4: Absorb knowledge and maximize learning opportunities.
Be an inquisitive, curious sponge. Soak up as much knowledge as you can about your company and everything it does, and start to develop some expertise in the area to which you are assigned. Read, do research, interview the old-timers, volunteer to take on more work or be part of that new team that just got formed. Start to become a life-long learner.
Lesson #5: Develop your oratory and written communication skills.
Have I mentioned that this was the best career advice I was ever given by one of my undergraduate professors? Join a speaking club within your company and/or externally. Take a public speaking training class and an effective writing class. Read, both fiction and non-fiction, and you will learn how others write. These skills will be some of the most valuable to you as a leader and manager.
Lesson #6: Be humble, respectful, courteous and kind.
Nobody likes a braggart or a jerk. So don’t be one. Don’t be self-absorbed. Don’t be oblivious to the people and world around you. Rather, be interested in and appreciate others. It’s the little acts of common courtesy that seem to be forgotten at times today, that go a long way towards earning respect and credibility. Do yourself a favor. Take the AirPods out, walk with a purpose, smile, hold the door open for a friend or colleague, and say thank you – a lot.
Check out my podcast on this topic by clicking the link below. You’ll get the full color of my frank commentary in pithy fashion!
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