Whether you’re tackling the corporate world with your first job out of college, attending grad school or still in the process of figuring things out it’s crucial to think about way in which you could improve yourself. Trust me, I know the feeling of both being exhausted and trying to just make it day by day – adulting is challenging to say the least but your incorporating simple strategies for enhancing your personal, professional or financial life can be easier than you think.
ENDEAVOR TO LEARN & GROW
Even the most successful, business leaders admit they there is still so much they wish they knew and would like to learn. The key to not only personal but professional growth (I think) is to strive to learn new things – big or small.
Here are some ways you can do this:
Find yourself a mentor and schedule recurring calendar meetings to talk to them about skills, ideas, challenges or anything you would like to learn.
2) ASK QUESTIONS
I’m a strong believer in asking questions! I think many of us who are just launching our careers are afraid to sound inexperienced, but trust me it’s much better to ask for help than to figure it out on your own and do something completely wrong. A lot of us are so afraid of admitting we don’t know something or that we know a little but not enough. Why is this? One thing I always strive to do is to LEARN and throw myself out there. If you’re introverted you can tackle finding more comfortable ways of reaching out to ask questions or ask for feedback. Test the waters and find what works for you, but you’ll end up hindering your own progress if you cannot ask for help or support from your peers.
3) ASK FOR FEEDBACK
This is a great way to figure out where you stand with your peers and by showing interest in your progress. I recommend scheduling formal reviews with your boss every six months and informal one-on-one sessions monthly or bi-weekly. Also, ask for feedback from other team members. Make sure to take note of everything so you can review it.
4) SUPPORT, ENCOURAGE & CREATE
Just like you, your coworkers want to be successful. It’s important to support and engage with your peers. Not only will helping them make you look good, but it will also change the way they look at you and respect you. Small thank you notes, brief collaborative talks or just encouraging words go a long way in building respect and trust.
5) STICK TO A SCHEDULE & BUILD YOUR WORKFIT
Being consistently late for work is a huge red flag. If your work is flexible with hours, you should still communicate with your supervisor rough time slots of your hours. If you’re an early bird and prefer 8-5 then let him/her know, that way you have a paper trail to hold yourself accountable and can look back if you’re working crazy hours. To be on the safer side, I would always suggest coming in on the earlier side! I also try to write notes about the days I work over time so that my supervisors if need be are aware of the projects that held me back.
Just as you establish your schedule, it’s important to establish your wardrobe. On my first day of work I was completely overdressed as my office is more of a jeans and button-down type of vibe. But whether you’re super formal or business casual you better have solid options for all the seasons. The worst thing is to be inappropriately dressed for an impromptu meeting!
FIND A SIDE HUSTLE
Let’s talk about the good ole’ side hustle. Whether you’re making a great salary or struggling (like I am), having a side hustle or passion completely different to your primary job can help reduce student loans, empower you and create the perfect outlet to decompress. The first concrete steps to finding a side hustle is to list out things that you’re passionate about or interested in. Once you listed out some things you’re interested brainstorm the good, the bad and the ugly of each. For example, baby-sitting or dog walking can be a great side hustle when you’re fresh out of college. Brainstorm all these concepts and then weigh out your best option.