At my first job, I worked in a newsroom for a TV station in New York City. I was the youngest employee. I came into the job as a former intern, which comes with advantages and disadvantages. But the experience taught me what it takes to earn respect and responsibility in a competitive, fast-paced corporate environment. By the end of my first year working there I produced a large number of stories including one story that earned an Emmy.
1. Understand Your Purpose
Come into your role with the mindset that it is not about you. Let your performance be a reflection on you. Assume a deeper level of responsibility not just to yourself but to your community.
2. Build Trust
You build trust by doing your job. Become the star by building a reputation on meeting deadlines, and following through. Don’t seek accolades or advancement too soon. Instead focus on demonstrating your competency and capability to handle the small tasks. The small tasks in the beginning serve as an opportunity to earn trust, respect, and credibility from your colleagues through flawless execution of those tasks. Focus on the task at hand and leverage it. Don’t throw away that big project idea but hold onto it until the time comes for a deserving pitch.
3. Understand The Value Of Your Presence
Do not turn your nose up at the tasks that seemed minuscule because there’s lessons in those too. Your presence and willingness to do even the small tasks will add value by allowing those above you to do their job without worrying.
4. Speak Up
Volunteer to go to every meeting you can. Speak up and put forth your ideas. You won’t be perfect if you have to abandon the desire to wait until something is perfect before you present it. You may think your silence is fine because you’re still mulling over what you have to say, but your coworkers and superiors likely interpret your silence as disengagement.
5. Look For Ways To Add Value
Don’t wait to be told what to do. Instead, used social media to jump into action and find eyewitnesses and videos we could potentially use on air. Soon, this became your niche and it will become requested of you.
6. Be Solution Oriented
This goes for everything from the small tasks to the big ones. You’re new so there will be a lot of things you don’t know but that should not be an excuse. Seek solutions and answers by putting yourself out there, by not being afraid to ask and utilizing the resources given to you.
7. Build Relationships
Build a connection with senior level coworkers and peers by going out of your way to engage through assignments, shadowing, or lending them an extra hand. If they offer, be sure to follow up and get on their calendar for lunch or coffee. Send them occasional updates about your wins and specific questions about work-related responsibilities. Your HR person should be your ally in providing guidance on the best people for you to reach out to, and if they’ve been in that position for a long time they’ll have insight on the best ways to approach particular people. Keep in mind, it’s also great to build connections across departments. A great way to do this is signing up for affinity groups within the company. But don’t stop there! Create connections outside your office. Join professional networks within your industry and attend the networking events, panels and conferences.
8. Be Transparent
Don’t work in silence. Ask questions when confused. Your boss or colleagues shouldn’t have to check to see if something is complete, they should be notified by you directly with a link to the work, a screenshot or attachment of the task. This shows you are on top of your stuff, and that you’re thorough.
Humble yourself, learn as much as you can about your industry and your craft, and continue to network inside and outside of the office to set a strong foundation for your career.
By Forbes.com contributor – Rhonesha Byng