Always Look Presentable: I use the word presentable instead of professional because not all the time professional is appropriate. For example, if you work at a company where jeans are a normal, stick to the cultural norm. That being said, don’t take advantage of that and walk around looking like you rolled out of bed. Just take an extra minute or two to make sure your hair is brushed, your personal hygiene is up to par, and your outfit is acceptable to take grandma out to lunch in. Do you really want to be that person who is known for wearing ripped jeans, a low cut tee, or a sweatshirt everyday? There’s a reason people say, “dress for the job you want, not the one you have”.

Respect Your Leader’s Position: You may not always agree with them and you may not like them personally, but you should always respect their position. Even if you have to fake it. Let them know you understand they are in a position of authority, even if it’s not by much. Most of the time your managers can open up opportunities and help get you to where you want to be. Realize the importance of this bridge and do not burn it.

Introduce Yourself: To people on other teams, people in other departments, hell, why not say hello to your CEO? Connecting begins with meeting people. Meeting people begins with a simple hello. They may not remember your name, but they will remember your face and this will help you get noticed.

Always be learning: Just because you graduated doesn’t mean you stop learning. See what kind of skills you need to advance in your career, and master them. If you can’t, someone else will. Take advantage of all the professional development stuff your company offers. If they don’t have any ‘stuff’, offer to shadow someone. Commit to being a lifelong student. Knowledge is power.

Stay Positive: Yes, it’s work, but it’s not a prison sentence. Wake up and tell yourself, “I’m fortunate to have this opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it” every morning on your way to work if you have to. No one hates a positive person, but everyone hates a negative one. Don’t be that person.


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