Written by: Franck Juvin-Acker Edited By: L.J. Acker
This is part 2 of 10 tips that every successful entry level professional and intern can use at the start of their career.
These tips comes from my husband, Mr J, who has managed several interns in the past decade, even starting as an intern himself for a multinational corporation. He’s seen some good interns and those with potential who end up learning bad habits and get their career started on the wrong foot. If you are an entry level professional or intern, don’t be like the latter and use these tips to start your career with success.
6. Handle Confrontation with Grace
You have worked hard on a project, having put some serious thought and care into your work. In your mind, you’ve done excellent work and you’re ready to present your work to your boss (or even a group). Within minutes, critiques start pouring in.
Don’t get defensive. Stay calm. Remember they are not judging you as a person, because the work in all reality isn’t personal, despite the fact that your colleagues may really be acting like jerks. When the time comes during the meeting to explain your thought processes, do so calmly. Then, just listen. More often than not, someone will come to your defense during the discussion.
Before a presentation, present your work to your boss at least 24 hours in advanced so that he or she knows what you’ll say and will have the opportunity to back you up or give you some advice to make last minute adjustments on your presentation.
7. Learn To Say No
Intern = doing time consuming / boring tasks. Try to quickly learn how long a task will take so that you don’t over commit to projects. If someone who is not your boss asks you to do something, make sure to let your boss know what you’re doing so your priorities are in check. If your boss says other miscellaneous tasks are not your priorities, then learn to say no to your colleagues and don’t feel bad as saying NO is a part of the leadership identity.
8. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Older and more experienced professionals understand that you’re here to learn, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or clarification on a task.
9. Don’t Badmouth
You might hear some colleagues gossiping about or talking down someone. Major tip: Never do that in your entire career. You can say what you are looking for in the future or what you’re hoping to achieve through your relationships instead. Check out the following example:
“I’m really looking or a company or team that can help me grow,” is better than, “My boss is a jerk. He wants me to stay at my job and doesn’t give me any room to grow.”
10. Carefully Choose Your Associations
There are groups of employees that get labeled like cliques in high school. Don’t rush trying to get into the “cool club”.
Be smart and take your time before associating yourself with your colleagues. Take some time to observe everyone’s behaviors, attitudes, and performance. Your goal is not to be the new cool kid in town. Your goal is to get a job at the end of an internship or trial period or at least get a great letter of recommendation.
Your associations can teach you either good or bad habits. If you learn bad habits, those in positions of power will identify these bad habits and will not make any effort to get you good projects or jobs.