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These quick tips should hopefully help the soon to be, or already graduates working in the corporate sector over tips to ensure they are well aligned to reach their goals through their first employment opportunity. 

Being in Golden Key means being in a circle of connections and opportunities to bring you a basket of opportunities. So let’s take a look at eight principles you should consider when you start your corporate journey:

1. Set your objectives for the company you first join

  • The key here is to fully understand what value you hope to add and what skills you hope to acquire from your organization. This will help you avoid staying at a company for too long and possibly having you lose your sense of direction. 
  • The longer you choose to stay at a company because you never set objectives, the more reluctant you will become to move to another firm to avoid having your growth stagnate. Staying at a company can or may be influenced by the fear of leaving your comfort zone. 

2. First impressions count

  • Doing a task the right way the first time gives you the benefit of the doubt and, in some cases, unprecedented trust from your superior. 
  • Don’t forget to ask if you’re not sure of how to tackle an activity. It will show your willingness to learn in a new environment.

3. Create professional working relationships

  • This means understanding the expectations of the person you report to. 
  • In this sense, you will understand how they prefer their work done, its delivery and even the fine items such as font, text size. 
  • This knowledge will go a long way in engraving the fact that you are a good listener of instructions and will forge a good working relationship. 

4. Learn to plan your tasks for the day

  • Having worked in a professional environment for over three years, I have understood the importance of a notepad to write down tasks. The challenge comes in the morning, when a stream of emails awaits you, resulting in one constantly working on emails and forgetting to plan or work on the tasks for the day.
  • Writing down and ticking off complete items also helps to boost your morale and sense of accomplishment. But, always remember it’s the small wins that will keep you going throughout the day. 

5. Be open to taking up suggestions and corrections.

  • Being a graduate usually means one is beaming with confidence and belief in tackling tasks or projects assigned at work.
  • This may also cloud one’s judgment to be able to see when one is struggling and requires help.
  • As a result, the work you produce for review can either be below expectations, or no work may be done at all. 
  • Taking up suggestions and taking in criticism helps identify developmental areas that you would not normally identify through self-introspection. 

6. Learn to create a work-life balance – to avoid burnout

  • Work will be very exciting and rewarding for the first few months, especially in a fast-paced environment. That being said, there is also a chance of one getting immersed completely in work, thus neglecting other aspects such as family and other responsibilities that surround you. 
  • If not carefully handled, this develops a workaholic syndrome which can have devastating effects of depression and burnout. Therefore, your mental health is very important to take care of.
  • Learn to schedule time off work and make it a goal to make use of your leave days as and when possible. This allows you to refresh and come back rejuvenated for working hard. 

7. Take the initiative for activities and projects only if you have the capacity to do so

  • Put simply; this also means learning to say no in a professional manner. The challenge of being the newest member of an organization or department, to be specific, is that there is always a sense of wanting to prove your ability to work well and work hard.
  • The reward of getting work done is more work. As such, you must set boundaries in your ability to take up tasks not to get overwhelmed. Be respectful but be honest in saying no. Your manager or supervisor will appreciate the honesty and sentiment. 

8. Get mentors

  • A mentor inside the organization helps you to understand the requirements of the industry you work in. However, having one mentor means your opinions are one-sided and are based on the aspects of the advice you have obtained.
  • Multiple mentors across various industries and sectors in your career path will help give you a broad picture. Understanding how you can add value at work and outside will assist you in opening up opportunities for you in areas you may have never thought possible. 
  • Get adequate guidance, and do not be afraid to reach out should you require assistance in a particular aspect that may impact your career. 

I trust and hope this small piece of information will be beneficial in more ways than one. 

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