Your job can be a step in the direction of the rest of your life. How you feel about it, what you learn from it, what you do with it or what it does to you helps you to decide where you go from there. If you want to get the most out of it, if you want it to lead you down the path of success, there are certain things you should do. Here are some suggestions:
Donít let the salary be your main reason for taking the job. Sometimes a lower paying job with the right company and the right contacts can do a lot more for you than a higher salary. Decide what is the lowest pay with which you can be satisfied. Then decide what other things can be important. How much training and/or experience can you get on this job. Some companies give their new employees priceless training. On-the-job experience can be very valuable to you when you apply for your next job. It gives you the practical experience that no school can offer. This can lead to a much higher salary later. What chances are there for advancement within the company? Sometimes accepting a lower paying job gives you a chance to show your boss how capable you are and how valuable you can be to the company. This will pay off later.
Another very important item for you to think about when you apply for the job is the type of contacts you can make. Just as a smart student chooses professors rather than just courses, a smart employee tries to meet and become friendly with the people who help him or her move ahead, either in this company or on the next job. Even if you canít do that, however, just having the opportunity to meet and develop a relationship with different kinds of personalities can help you develop skills that may move you ahead much faster on your next job. Learning about the job from other people, or learning what it takes to move ahead in a company by observing other people, is an extremely valuable skill.
OK, so now you have the job and you want to make an impression Ė you want people to notice you. What can you do to become a valuable employee? Do a little bit more and do it well. It really isnít that hard to be successful in your life. Itís too bad, but many people try to do as little as they can on the job. Take advantage of that Ė do just a little bit more. This is not to suggest that you should allow anyone to take advantage of you. However, it is suggested that you do your work faithfully and competently and to the best of your ability at all times. There is a saying: ďBuild a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.Ē One way to be noticed in a company is to suggest little things that can improve the routine way that things are done. You must be careful here, however. Sometimes a way of doing thing has been established that has been carefully thought through and has advantages that you donít realize. The wrong suggestion can hurt you as much as the right suggestion can help you.
Do remember that other employees can be helpful to you. You should at least try not to score points by being critical of a fellow employee who is also doing his or her best job. Ambition, jealousy, and personality differences are encountered on any job, but the more friends you make and the fewer enemies, the better position you are in. There are times when you will need the help of your fellow employees. It is then that your prior actions can result in the kind of back-stabbing that hurts.
There is another important point to be made. Sometimes you may realize that you made a mistake by taking this job. Donít feel married to it. If it will help your career, quit it and look for another. This is the time when the friends you have made, the reputation you have earned on the job, and the experience and training you have gotten will be most helpful. No job is ever a waste of time because if you have given it your best, you have learned something from it. Take all this with you to your next job and continue to move up from there.
First, of course, you have to get the job. When you do, though, itís up to you to become a valuable employee. Good luck!