You’ve just started a career that you love. And while your education—and likely your charisma—helped you to get the position, your experience did not. But that’s okay. You’re in a great space to begin structuring the key components for a successful and rewarding career.
You can learn a lot while you are on the job by engaging in the day-to-day activities that give your position purpose, often referred to as your “job description.” But there are more targeted ways to escalate your career development and get on the fast track for success.
Use these strategies to get ahead, especially if you’re a rookie:
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
It may feel awkward asking for help when you’re the new kid on the block. But everyone has been there at one time or another and will more than likely be happy to assist. When finding correct information or gaining clarity around a process is critical to your success, just ask. However, tie your camel first. Can the information you’re seeking be easily found by your own investigation? Exhaust your own efforts and then call in the troops if you need to. Your willingness to navigate unfamiliar territory will not only enhance your learning curve, but add points to your social cache.
2. Get a mentor.
When institutional memory is there for the taking, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Why not take advantage of lessons learned by more experienced employees? The benefits of having someone to help you learn the ropes in a more focused way could mean the difference in your growth and happiness with this employer, not to mention impact the way you feel about remaining in your current career for the long-haul. How do you select a mentor? Sometimes a mentor will seek you out—imagine that. Yet, you still need to make sure that the relationship is a good fit. However, if you’re the one doing the profiling, there are some important things that you need to consider. U.S. News shares 13 great tips, here.
3. Ask about employer-sponsored opportunities for professional development.
You’ve asked great questions and even found a mentor—looks like you are well on your way to success, right? Not so fast. Most employers provide numerous ways that you can increase your skills and experience through professional development offerings. Many of these opportunities are free, though rarely explored. Less publicized are off-line, employee-sponsored opportunities offered by third parties for a fee. But don’t fret. When employers feel such programs will increase the value of their employees, they’ll often happily consider. You just have to be proactive and articulate an earnest value proposition.
Ready to escalate your career development, even though you’re just starting out? Use these three tips and you will be well on your way. By the way, if you’ve tried any of these, let me know. I would love to hear from you below.
To your success.
Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. is the founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport, an international consulting firm specializing in professional development. Follow her on Twitter: @wsrapport or visit her website, www.wordsmithrapport.com.