Mindfulness in the workplace
The first six months of your career are incredibly important. Throughout this period, you are laying the groundwork for what people can expect and what you can expect from yourself. You are learning a ton about your company and co-workers while simultaneously establishing the habits and work ethic that can make or break a career.
I recently had my first six-month review as an account coordinator. While it was great to receive feedback from a number of colleagues and clients, it was also an opportunity to reflect on what has gone well and what could be improved upon since I began.
If you are newbie at work , consider these tips to push yourself through the first 6 months on the job.
Be present at work and beyond
Of course, it is — or should be — a given that you are physically at work when need be. But that isn’t exactly what I mean by being present. This tip applies much more broadly.
For example, if your company hosts happy hour events, be there. If your colleagues participate in volunteering opportunities, fundraising efforts, fantasy football leagues, etc., try to be part of the fun.
Being present extends into the online realm as well. If your company is on social media, do your best to be active in those communities.
Raise your hand
Raise your hand whenever it’s possible to be involved. This could be in the form of new business pitches, helping out a team on deadline or more operational activities such as joining an HR- or party-planning committee.
Raising your hand and saying “yes” shows colleagues you’re flexible, dependable and can be counted on to help with future projects and activities. Ultimately, you will learn more and will become a well-rounded professional.
You’re young and new. So, nobody expects you to jump into the job already knowing everything. And, frankly, if you did, it probably wouldn’t be a challenging job in the first place.
Admitting you need some help and guidance shows maturity and makes it more likely you will deliver exactly what they need.
Diversity is important.
Don’t forget that, as a young professional, you come from a different background than some of your senior colleagues. Different training and unique mix of experiences can sometimes allow you to see opportunities for change that others can’t.
So, be the catalyst needed to improve long-standing policies and processes. Making suggestions in a respectful way signals to others you are thinking critically about the business and care about constant improvement enough to put your reputation on the line.
Have side work
Much has been said about the benefits of working on something other than typical “day-job” work. In fact, some enterprising companies let employees use a percentage of their workday to tinker with personal projects. Google and Apple are good examples of this.
But if your employer doesn’t allow it on their time, you should still be using some of yours to foster a hobby or develop new skills. That could take the form of blogging, volunteering for your local PRSA chapter or practicing graphic design.