It’s important to remember none of us are qualified for our first job, whether it’s a work experience placement or summer internship.
What really matters is how you approach challenges and learn new skills. Rather than dwelling on feelings of incompetence, it pays to recognise your own ignorance and build on the limited skills you do have with gumption.
You don’t have to be a genius or privately educated to shine in the workplace. All you have to do is make sure you don’t let your inexperience, ego, or insecurities rule the way you work and interact with others.
How to stand out in the workplace
- Be on time or early every day
- Bring a pen and notepad with you everywhere you go
- Jot down the name and role of everyone you meet, as soon as you can
- Leave your phone on silent, all day every day
- Admit when you’re unsure about something – you’ll most likely be caught out if you lie, and it’s okay to be new to something
- Say yes to everything you’re asked to do (within reason), and actually do everything you say you will
- Share your opinion, even if you think it might be silly. It’s better to have silly ideas than no ideas!
- Know about the company you’re working for before you start – research your boss, your boss’s boss, its history and mission statement
- Interact with all your colleagues at the office and on social media – get to know peoples’ stories and build real relationships
- Don’t get involved in office gossip – you’re never getting the whole story, and you don’t want to be known for being a big mouth