The posting was first published on the CGA CareerView Blog on March 22, 2012.
Is career advancement on your mind? Whether you are a current student, a recent grad, or have been in the workforce for a couple of years, for many of us, improving our position never seems far from our minds.
Landing an interesting job with a promising organization is most often the first step to developing a professional career. But then what? How can you prove to your employers that you are worthy of more meaningful assignments and great responsibility when you are near the bottom of the corporate ladder?
As an ambitious co-op student with dreams of one day becoming an active member of the business community and a leader in an organization, I have had the opportunity to learn from my colleagues and bosses at CGA-BC how to demonstrate my worth and realize my potential.
Throughout my work term, I have learned five important lessons that have helped me grow both personally and professionally. I am confident that these tips will help you demonstrate your reliability and leadership capabilities, allowing you to grow and move up out of that entry-level position.
1. Do More than Necessary
This first tip may seem a bit broad, but it is the most important because it is the fountainhead from which all the other lessons flow.
To work your way up the corporate ladder, you must go beyond your job description by taking initiative, volunteering to take on work, and constantly doing more than necessary. This will help you develop new skills, it will broaden your experience, and it will decrease the work load of your co-workers.
2. Start from Day One
Just like in an interview, first impressions play a key role in career advancement. Even though you have already been hired for the job, your bosses and colleagues will continue to watch your performance, assessing whether you really are the most suitable candidate for the position and a good fit in the organization. That means you have to prove yourself from the very beginning – even in orientation and training. In fact, many executives have been known to attend their company’s orientation process, making this an ideal time to demonstrate your worth to the top position holders.
3. Ask Lots of Questions in the Beginning
The beginning of a new job is always the best times to ask questions. Asking questions will not only help you learn faster, it will also show that you are engaged in your assignments.
In addition, the first couple of weeks on the job, particularly the training process, is the only time where your employer is completely focusing their attention on you. So, use this time to your advantage and ask lots of questions.