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For Those Starting Out: Tips for Success at your New Job

Pictured: Nimble Mindset Interns + Staff

For Those Starting Out: Tips for Success at Work

Right now, many people are entering the working world for the first time, whether it be through an internship or a job. While this process may seem daunting, NIMBLE Mindset CEO Mariette Wharton has a few tips to make your experience as smooth as possible:

Be reliable. Show up ready to work at the expected time and complete assigned tasks on time (communicate when you hit roadblocks).

Have a strong work ethic. If the job expectation is 40 hours, work at least that and maybe more since you most likely work far less efficiently than people with more experience, whether you realize it or not. Early in your career, consider working more, not less, to develop your skills and value. Cultivate a habit of working smarter, not wasting time with distractions such as text messaging. If you do a great job at your entry-level or internship, the rewards will be enormous. You will get a great recommendation and reap the benefits of the ripple effect.

Be humble. Displaying confidence is a good thing but be wary of being overconfident. Your confidence should emanate from your experience and skills so when you are early in your career, realize what you don’t know; assume you know less than you think you do.

Be willing to learn from others.  People with a great deal more experience can help you and they will be more willing to do so if you show openness. When you are new at a subject or task, don’t assume you have all the answers. It is ok that you don’t know. Others are happy to help if you are open vs. challenging others inappropriately.

Show gratitude. Recognize when sacrifices are being made for you, in terms of time and resources. Don’t take privileges and opportunities for granted. 

Be respectful. This should be obvious, but as an example, if a boss or colleague is finishing up a conversation with you during business hours and you want to leave early and a friend is waiting, ask your friend to wait briefly while your conversation finishes. Show respect and you will earn respect.

Try a variety of tasks and jobs. Don’t balk at doing tasks (or jobs) that you think are below you. When you are starting out, succeeding at retail positions and doing entry-level tasks build valuable skills in getting along with people at different levels and in executing even boring tasks. Not all parts of even a great job will always be exciting, so prove you can do it all with a smile.

Speak up if you need help. If instructions are not clear, speak up! Everyone needs varying degrees of oversight and communication and your boss should be mindful of not micromanaging you, but this could lead to confusion if you need more clarity. It might not be obvious you are struggling until you fail to meet deadlines. In this scenario, you will be frustrating others and making yourself miserable so know when to ask for help before it gets ugly.

Work independently when possible. It is better to find out information that is easily available through ChatGPT or a Google search, reading a manual, or thinking it through than to ask someone to do work for you unnecessarily. If you can’t figure it out, then ask for help.

Develop domain or subject matter expertise. Writing, presenting, analytical and other skills developed in school are valuable and necessary broad skills. To really excel, cultivate expertise in a specific area, such as graphic design, videography, SEO, or programming, so that you bring value immediately. Become an expert in the dynamics of an industry and you will be your organization’s invaluable go-to person for that field.

Start networking now. Create a LinkedIn profile and connect with our professionals you meet. Your network will enable you to get access to your dream job and help you get things done along the way. Help connect others and build your social capital.

Note: You are entitled to a work environment free of harassment and discrimination. If you experience this in a work setting, do not tolerate it! Report it. If it does not change, leave the organization. 


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