Today (as of this writing) I had the opportunity to attend an off-site event for employees that were in the entry-level rotational program at my company. This was a great chance to network, learn more about other areas of the business, and to reflect on the program that we all came through. I love these types of events because we get out of the office in a place where thought processes may be more rigid, allowing us to be more open and free with our thoughts. It also gives us a real chance to think about what we do and where we came from. This is a great way, for me at least, to document and then share some of those thoughts with some of the younger people at my company.
There were many nuggets of advice that were shared that I think are incredibly helpful for me and will be helpful for you, as a new employee. Here are a few to think about:
Don’t compare yourself to your peers
Though you may have come into the company with others that are the same age and experience as you, that does not mean your experiences will progress at the same rate. And that is OK! Starting out, it is easy to look at others and say “they just got a promotion, why didn’t I?” This is perfectly natural. But, you cannot control what the others did, you only have control over what you did and will do in the future. Do not worry about things you cannot control. Everyone has different experiences, so don’t compare them apples to apples.
You can accomplish anything you set your mind to
Especially as a young employee, dream big. Push yourself to accomplish bigger things than you ever dreamt you could. There is no reason now, as a new employee, to set the bar low, as you have so much time and resources available to reach the point in your career and life that you want. If you want to be a CEO, go for it. If you want to be a lawyer, go for it. Dream big, especially as a young employee.
Be open to change
Change in the business world is inevitable. You will experience change and it will likely happen regularly and at times that are inconvenient for you personally. But, be open to this change. You cannot do anything about the change anyway, as it has probably already happened. If you are able to embrace change and dive head-first into the change, you will be much better off. Who knows, maybe the change will lead to a different opportunity that you never thought possible.
Network with those across all age groups
It is easy to only network with peers of your age group. They are, after all, familiar and have similar, relatable experiences. But, there are so many other age groups you can and should network with. They bring a wealth of experience that you simply cannot get from those of your age group. Plus, they are willing to assist. Especially, if you are part of a leadership or rotational program, there are alumni that want to help you. Or if there is a collegiate alumni base at your company, leverage them. But be sure not to limit yourself by networking only with peers of your age.
Hopefully some of this advice resonates true or strikes a chord. Not only will this advice help you as you progress in your career, but it will allow you to think about what is important to you, and, how you can give back and assist others in the future.