Before working full time, I had multiple internships that prepared me for my first time job. Now that I come across my second year anniversary of my first full time job, there is much I have learned. Within the two years I have been at my job, I have been promoted twice and am continually receiving more and more responsibilities. There are multiple lessons I have learned along the way that have made me into the professional I am today.

Be able to admit to a mistake if you make it.

When you make your first notable mistake in your job, it sucks 100%. However, when you do make this mistake, it is better to own it and be upfront with your boss. Your boss will understand if you are up front and not try to hide the fact that you messed up. In fact, your boss will likely respect you if you can admit your mistake and grow from it. Take this opportunity to learn from this experience.

Bullies do not stay in high school.

Unfortunately, you may be faced with a bully in your office. The bully may be your age, 10 years older or even 25 years older. Be confident in yourself in these situation and rise above the fray. Remember those who lay down with the pigs get dirty. Your superiors will respect you even more if you handle yourself with poise and confidence in these situations. Know that you are a queen and act like it. Queens do not get down with the pigs, but hold themselves to a higher standard.

Your dress code in the office should be grandma approved.

Make sure if you wore your work outfit around your grandma, she would approve. You never know who you will see at work, and you always want to be perceived well. You may be working with different generations so be aware of how your attire may be perceived. 

Be willing to do the grunt work.

When you are starting out, you may be asked to do grunt work. I stood up when my office needed someone to take some materials to another one of our offices three hours away. Why? I wanted to show those in leadership I was willing to do whatever needed to be done, and that I understood the bigger picture. The other location needed these materials for an event later in the week, and it was too expensive to mail the materials. My superiors saw my dedication to our mission, and that I was willing to do whatever needed to be done. This has assisted in me getting where I am today.

Face every situation with positivity.

Things might not always go as planned, and typically, they do not. In these situations, put on a happy face and remain a force of positivity. If your boss and superiors know that you always have a positive perspective, they will respect you. You never want to be the person who is seen as a “negative Nancy”. Even when it is hard, try to remain as positive as possible. Try to leave every situation with at least a pinch of positivity.

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Sit at the table in every meeting possible.

There are over twenty people in our department so sometimes when we have all staff meetings, people have to sit in chairs on the outside of the table. Make sure you have a seat at the table in every meeting you sit in on. You want your boss and superiors to see you and your participation in meetings. If you do not have anything to say in the meeting, take diligent notes and actively listen to what is being said. This is one simple way you can make yourself known to your boss and superiors.

Find someone outside of your office to vent to.

Sometimes you will leave the office frustrated at a project or even another coworker. Find someone who is in no way affiliated with your workplace that you can vent to and not worry about it getting back to your office. I rely on two of my best friends who live in entirely different cities to vent to when I need to. It is comforting knowing that my feelings about a situation will never get back to my office and allows me to face the situation with a clear mind.

Kallie B
CABINET