Career Lab Virtual Campus Forté Foundation

The Summer Internship Equation for Rising Stars

April 15, 2014

Spring is one of the loveliest, most nostalgic times of the academic year. You are finishing the rest of your two challenging semester journey with hard-won grades, assignments, and an established university presence to show for. You deserve a pat on the back at the very least for the countless hours you spent in your collegiate environment, yet they are about to wind down as you take the next steps towards planning your summer.

As you plan this journey, I would like to share four tips to leave you prepared, confident, and ready to plant the seed for success.

Establish your unique brand

If a picture is worth a thousand words, can you just imagine how important that beginning day on an internship is when forming a first impression? Branding is important not only for consumer goods, but for people as well. TV personalities and those in the spotlight are keenly aware of how delicate and valuable their brand is. You don’t need to be (one of my female role models) Ivanka Trump, with a family legacy in business to establish yourself professionally.

A brand is not just identified from a watermark on a stationary or a glossy business card. A brand is the symbolism of YOU in the flesh and what YOU represent to others. If you take away your name, character, and appearance, that brand no longer exists. In the same way, if you take away the name “Trump” from any one of the luxury hotels that frame the skyline, there would be no unique association and connection for the consumer.

These brands, and the unique individuals who make them, work long and hard to have their name acknowledged and to maintain them. As such, it only makes sense that females looking to become leaders in their own field start understanding their unique brand and how they can project and sustain that effectively and purposefully.

In her book, The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life, Trump emphasizes that each person has been dealt “a winning hand,” and it is up to each of us to play it right and smart. You are the only one who can understand this winning hand fully. Knowing this, its important your best traits come across in your branding.

So how does “branding” translate to an office setting? If you define your priorities from the start of a new position as well as voice your concerns, contributions, and care in the subject matter, your brand will develop along with you. Your projects, work ethic, and approach all indicate the kind of person you are. If you desire certain key traits, such as “responsible, diligent, or creative,” its important to demonstrate them – not quietly, but with appropriate emphasis.

Form a Routine

As mundane and lackluster as the word “routine” might seem, it is actually the key to success in any field.

In college, we are used to the bombardment of assignments, events, and responsibilities that come our way. Efficiency is sought only through the tackling of each item one by one. Even the smallest routine such as setting out work clothes for the following day, reading your materials the night before, or even planning periods of rest before a long week can invigorate, strengthen, and empower you during the hustle and bustle of the some 20-40 hour work week.

The less small things you have to worry about, the more you can focus on the big picture items in front of you. You will also feel more control and stability. Even better, your consistency will be inevitably visible to your colleagues. Continuing with the idea of branding, since very few of us have a photographic memory, it is important to consistently project the image and behavior we wish to be known for day in and day out to establish our brand.

Build Trust-Based Relationships

At the start of any new role in a foreign environment, it might be hard to break the ice in that first week. One has to remember that the internship environment can be intimidating, demanding, and mentally / physically draining.

When you are first introduced to this new territory, it can feel a lot like stepping into a beehive. There is a lot of buzz from your co-workers, much work to be done, and yet you are trying to figure out how to get noticed amongst your worker bees. Its important in this initial stage, to reach out to at least one mentor you can trust.

While navigating unchartered waters, you want an experienced captain, and that is exactly the kind of mentor you should aim to befriend. This mentor might be pessimistic and cautious of associating themselves with you at first, given past experiences with interns or the many responsibilities they already carry, thus do not be discouraged if this is the case, however do not expect too much of that person. They will also be examining you, to see if you can meet their expectations. Professional friendships are time consuming and slow to develop, but worth every ounce of energy as these individuals may root for you and guide you along as well.

If you look at Sheryl Sandberg, you will notice that her career path was not a set of random events. In fact, there is a consistency and trust-based relationships are a common theme in her work experiences. Sandberg’s Harvard professor, Larry Summers, was her mentor and thesis advisor during her undergraduate years. Summers recruited Sandberg for research at the World Bank, and after graduation when her professor became United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton, she was recruited to be his Chief of Staff.

In instances like these, there is no real value you can place on professional relationships, especially considering they can have life-changing influences as in the case of Ms. Sandberg.

To reiterate on the first two pieces of advice, professional relationships are usually based on a “give and take” philosophy. Your colleagues need to first understand in general terms who you are, and what you offer, before trusting you with vital information or projects. Interns do not need to wear their resume on their sleeve, but they should be known for certain valuable traits and skills.

Establish a Record of Experience

Writing after a long day at work is not a very appealing notion on the surface. However, to pinpoint the areas in which you can and have grown, its important to have a diary. It allows you to examine the skills you have gained and the obstacles overcome.

Particularly notable leaders in history have kept a diary, such as Presidents Harry Truman and George Washington. The public has studied these to gain access to the complex psyche of these movers and shakers. Yet for all practical purposes, whether or not you are planning on writing an autobiography later in life like so many leaders and modern day celebrities, its important to have a grip of the pace and influence of your progression as a female in a competitive workplace.

This diary does not need to be time-consuming; only a 10-15 minute journaling bi-weekly would make a difference.

Whatever organization you work for, each has a set of principles and a mission they aim to meet. If you find yourself the project leader for a nonprofit or private sector game-changer, think about how you want your work to contribute to the lives of others. This contribution may very well be indirect as a novice in a field, but will have immediate and future benefits.

I would like to end this conversation with words of advice from alum of my university, and one of history’s most elegant and multi-talented personages: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Her opinion regarding female expression is invigorating and telltale of how she was able to infuse grace, intelligence, and beauty in her role of First Lady:

“Once you can express yourself, you can tell the world what you want from it and how you would like to change it. All the changes in the world, for good or evil, were first brought about by words.”

Our First Lady enchanted us with all the four criteria in the equation for success we discussed: an undeniable charming brand, a dynamic routine to execute her public service agenda, trust-based relationships within her circle, and a record of her days in Camelot with that of 35th President, John F. Kennedy, shared in biographies and poetry for all of America to view. It was these four elements which made way and provided an intellectual and social space for her work and enduring legacy.

I pray that in taking on your summer internship and working towards that C-suite position, you are able to utilize the four elements in the equation we discussed to attain success: branding, routine, trust-based relationships, and recording your experiences. Ultimately, this is all in order to enable your unique voice to shine through and be recognized, respected, and remembered.

Nicole Chacin will graduate in 2015 from George Washington University with a degree in business economics and public policy with a minor in vocal music. She plans on getting a JD/MBA after college and dreams of working in health policy and administration. She was a part of the first Forté College Leadership Conference and is the creative designer and co-founder of Chicago Boutique.

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Reflections on Female Leadership

April 10, 2014

by Nicole Chacin

Due to the immense privilege of writing for the Forté Foundation for the 2013-2014 academic year, I have been able to highlight concepts such as feminine leadership and self-empowerment through a business lens for young, aspiring professionals like myself. The chief inspiration behind these themes comes from the cherished women in my life as well as those in history, academia, government, philanthropy, media, and (of course) business.

It can be disheartening when so many women college age and older shy away from the words “power” or “leadership.” In fact, these very words can seem domineering, masculine, or presumptuous when we apply them to ourselves. It is for this reason I have chosen to bring up these subjects throughout my writing and by taking insight from thought leaders and practitioners in business I have come across and met.

Personally, I do not think it is possible for a female to succeed in business if she is uncomfortable with either exercising leadership or holding a position of power.

In many ways, there are vertical – not just horizontal – pathways to plant the seeds for success in an organization at school and beyond. As a freshman you can start as the Chair of Membership of a student organization and by your senior year, end up as the Chief Operating Officer/ President.

It is these beginner level positions which form our individual, unique leadership styles to become good listeners, motivators, and decision makers when we really need them in high-level positions where our word holds greater weight and consequences. I would say all women can obtain some degree of power in their work, and frankly should, if they are ambitious.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is notable for saying some revealing truths about women in power from her firsthand experience: “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

As the only woman to hold the office of British Prime Minister and the longest-serving one of the 20th century, she holds a unique understanding of power. What is more telling than anything from her leadership is that she was adamant about showing strength and competence through action, not just verbalizing ideals.

From examining Ms. Thatcher’s remark, it may appear she is saying all ladies are powerful and should not need to say they are. Rather, I believe that Ms. Thatcher is bringing to light that the true indicator of power is when it is implicit, understood, and respected because of the way a lady carries herself and is known through past achievements. Power is not an accessory, but rather the whole outfit.

Another female leader who studied many of her female counterparts to pinpoint power trends is Moira Forbes, president and publisher of ForbesWoman. According to Forbes, the whole dynamic of power has changed today, regardless of gender. Power is more about influence and impact. In other words, it is measured by how leaders can move people, effect change, and shape minds.

To Forbes, there has been a “democratization” of power, meaning it’s much easier to gain access to it in traditional and non-traditional roles, whether that be running a corporation or taking a political office.

Delving deeper into the trends of power in the 21st century discussed by Forbes, I think a powerful women is identified for being influential and impactful when she has a specific agenda and focus in her work – a vision. Women are drawn to powerful positions because they are ready to ignite their vision for the future.

I believe they are fueled by their desire to project one’s authentic self in their work and create something larger than you or me.

For all those skeptical or territorial about females gaining power in the workplace and beyond, its truly hard to argue with the beauty and stewardship that a vision for the future can offer, is it not?

One example of a female using her power to fulfill her vision is Bonnie Wurzbacher, Senior Vice President at the Coco Cola Company. With twenty-seven years of experience within various senior leadership roles, Wurzbacher is currently on board with a new global initiative to economically empower 5 million women by the year 2020 with the United Nations Millennium Goals.

The 125-year old global wealth creation of Coco-Cola is particularly important to Wurzbacher who understands the vast job creation and sustainable economic well-being brought to communities where the company invests and gains their labor pool from. The company is the largest private employer on the continent of Africa – where for every one job created directly, another sixteen are also created indirectly.

From high-class political leaders such as the Iron Lady to the 100+ women who grace Forbes magazine to the personal story of Ms. Wurzbacher at Coco-Cola, I think it is evident that female power and leadership is essential to society and to empowering young women to become the thought leaders and visionaries of the future.

I hope you will join me on this riveting journey of strengthening other aspiring female professionals as well as yourself to partake in the many joys and tribulations of attaining power and leadership in business. I am sure that there are many female role models who have embraced both power and leadership that you can examine for inspiration, aside from the ones I mentioned.

It’s only when women acknowledge our immense capacity and ability to achieve today that we can plant the seeds for tomorrow’s success.

Nicole Chacin will graduate in 2015 from George Washington University with a degree in business economics and public policy with a minor in vocal music. She plans on getting a JD/MBA after college and dreams of working in health policy and administration. She was a part of the first Forté College Leadership Conference and is the creative designer and co-founder of Chicago Boutique.

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Preparing for Your First Day on the Job

April 8, 2014

by Kaitlyn Lannan

Your first day on the job, whether at a new internship, work-study job, or even a new volunteering position can be a nerve-wracking experience. Here is how to calm your nerves so you have a great experience.

Research the company as much as possible.

In learning more about the company before your first day, you are putting yourself at an advantage with your supervisor. It shows that you truly care about the company and that you are excited to start working there. It also helps you in terms of the amount of information that you will be expected to learn.

Learning a bit about the company’s history and background lessens the amount of new information that your supervisor will want you to know.

Prepare physically.

Make sure that you know the company culture and environment before your first day. This will help you to determine the right outfit to wear, and how you will present yourself.

If you aren’t sure, always lean towards the more formal side of things. It is better to turn up dressed more formally for an office that turns out to be casual, than more casually for an office that turns out to be very formal.

Don’t wait until the last minute.

Even if you start your job very soon after accepting an offer, you will be less stressed if you plan everything out several days or weeks before starting. Make sure you know where the office is located and how to get there, along with important information like your supervisor’s name.

In following these tips, you can have a less stressful first day of work and enjoy doing more fun activities like meeting coworkers more thoroughly. Good luck on your first day!

Kaitlyn Lannan is a sophomore at Northwestern University. She is majoring in economics and communication and plans on attending business school. Her dream job is becoming Chief Marketing Officer at a Fortune 500 company. You can find Kaitlyn on Twitter at @KaitlynLannan.

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Attending My First College Career Fair

April 1, 2014

by Jaskamal Gill

Attending a career fair can be a daunting prospect and it was for this sophomore undergrad! Even though I am more than halfway through my second year at Rutgers and I have taken part in various networking events, I had never attended the formal career fair that the Rutgers Business School holds every semester.

In fact, I would always somehow find an excuse to not attend. But, this semester I decided I had to attend, especially since I am now knee-deep in the summer internship search – what better way to find out what is available than to attend the Rutgers Business School Career Fair?

Rutgers Business School plays host to around 50 companies who are looking to connect with Rutgers students. Their career fairs are exclusive to business majors only and therefore students have a concentrated, targeted, and focused access to employers who are interested in recruiting students studying in these areas. It is a chance for us to meet employers who may have opportunities in areas of interest and it is a chance for employers to establish an on-campus presence and brand awareness.

I was always intimidated by the RBS Career Fairs; it was something that upperclassmen attended and for me to attend these events when I wasn’t fully prepared seemed disastrous. Thankfully, the school offers a mock career fair, but unfortunately it wasn’t until this year that I found out about it.

The mock career fair was a chance for us students to practice our skills and beat nerves before the real event. It was set up like a real career fair where we had to dress professionally, carry plenty of resumes, and have our elevator speech perfected, but the difference was that it was a trial run. After participating in the mock career fair, I was definitely more prepared than I would be otherwise and preparation is always an antidote to nerves.

Well, after days of preparation and after research of companies I would like to approach, it was finally the day of the event! I was a tad nervous but with the knowledge that I was prepared to talk to employers, the anxiety soon abated. In order to increase my confidence, I worked my way up by approaching those employers I was least interested in until I was confident enough to network with my employers of interest.

By arriving at the venue early, I had enough time to network with all companies. I learned a lot about the programs they offered for sophomores and rising juniors and of the internship opportunities that were available. Additionally, employers were receptive to questions and were very willing to share their experiences and advice for college students. All in all, I had gathered a lot of information and hopefully I had made favorable impressions.

In the end, I believe I gained the skill to network with confidence and this was something I seemed to lack. As an introvert, I found it difficult to approach people with a pitch planned out, but now with practice, I’ve become more comfortable with it. In the future, I hope to attend more events and I certainly won’t shy away from attending any career fairs!

Jaskamal Gill will graduate in 2016 from Rutgers University with a degree in accounting and a minor in English. Jaskamal plans on working for a Big 4 firm after college and getting her MBA. She dreams of starting her own business and enjoys Virtual Campus.

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To Work Or Not to Work in College

February 19, 2014

by Angela Coquis

You are in college, balancing between doing well in classes and having enriching experiences outside of school. Money is tight – it would be nice to have some extra cash – but working can be taxing on your time and energy. What is a student to do?

I have taken fifteen hours per semester since I started college in fall of 2011, and I have only ever been jobless that first semester of freshman year. At the time, I wanted to focus all my hours towards my studies, but I found that I had a lot of spare time where I could have been working.

My second semester I took up work at the university and I have since had three jobs at UT Dallas, all of which have given me experience and some pocket money. So in my opinion, picking up part-time work is a valuable choice, but let’s look at some pros and cons to having a job.

Pros

  • Pays money
  • Make friends with co-workers
  • Teaches working with people
  • Teaches real-world skills
  • Provides a view into full-time life

Cons

  • Takes time from your day
  • Rules and restrictions
  • Adds deadlines/stresses
  • Forces proximity to possibly unpleasant people
  • Miss out on activities with friends

The biggest factors in considering a job are the hours and the satisfaction. A lot of people will work a job they hate if it pays well, and other people will work a low-paying job because they love it. It really runs the gambit. When it comes to searching for jobs in your area, you have to decide for yourself where you fall on that spectrum.

Since we are talking about university, let’s look at jobs on campus. Every university offers on-campus jobs for students, and most of those jobs will be flexible with your class schedule. That’s a major bonus. It’s very convenient to have a schedule where you work just a couple hours on your busy days and work your longest shifts on the days with only one class, or any combination of hours that suits you best. Not a lot of jobs offer that kind of flexibility.

There may, however, be a cap on how many total hours you can work (somewhere between 15-20 hours), so you would have to check. Otherwise, having a job you can walk to, work flexible hours, and possibly interact with other students (e.g. cashier, call center, tour guide) can be pretty nice. Some jobs are more rigid than others, but in general most jobs on campus are understanding of a student’s schedule and work load. Some jobs are more monotonous than others, too. Again, it’s a good idea to know your preferences when searching for a job.

Speaking of searching, you should know where your school posts jobs for its students. The university’s careers/jobs department in the services building should be able to give you all the information you need about how to apply for jobs. Most schools have a website where students can fill out a profile and upload their resume. On that same website, you should be able to see a list of all the jobs available on campus.

I had an office assistant job for one semester, a calculus tutoring job for another semester, and for the last year I’ve been working data entry and tech support. Those are just some examples of the kinds of jobs you can get on campus. I have friends who have been servers, computer lab monitors, research assistants (working with lab rats), and workout class instructors. There are so many options; you are bound to find a job you enjoy. If not, a job that builds you, gives you experience, and a little money doesn’t hurt either.

Angela Coquis is a junior at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is majoring in Management Information Systems and wants to live abroad and pursue a career in database management. She enjoys Virtual Campus and her dream job is owning a bakery.

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Ways to Impress When You’re the Youngest One in the Office

September 3, 2013

by Melinda Price
Source: The Daily Muse

We’d all like to be known in the workplace for our talents alone—but, as new professionals, we rarely get that opportunity right off the bat. First, we get the fun honor of being the less-experienced newbie with a lot to learn.

At my place of work in particular, most of my co-workers and bosses have been with the organization since it was founded and have contributed to our cause in some way for a whole lot longer. For me, that meant I had to break into a pretty intricate culture, and it took a lot of work to show everyone that I, the rookie, could contribute in a positive, professional way.

While there’s nothing you can do to change your age or level of experience overnight, there are a few ways to move quickly into seasoned professional territory—and even make your age work to your advantage. Here are a few rules for getting off to a great start as the office new kid.

Know Your Role

When you land that first job, it’s easy to immediately want to jump in and prove yourself, but remember that it doesn’t need to happen all at once. In fact, it shouldn’t. While offering ideas, volunteering to take on new responsibilities, and finding ways to showcase your talents are all good things, going overboard can make you come across as being a know-it-all to your co-workers who have been around for a while. Plus, your workplace may not be willing to give you a bunch of responsibility until you’ve put in the hours and demonstrated that you’re an asset to the team.

Along similar lines, make sure you’re being respectful of your co-workers and bosses and the way things are done. In fact, the best way to get ahead in your company at first is to acknowledge the experience of the team you’re a part of and learn from them. (After all, that’s what you’re really there to do!)

Start by asking questions about how things work within the office and between levels. For example, when I first started working in my current position, I didn’t realize the intricate set of checks and balances that existed within our structure and would get annoyed by the time it took to get the approval I needed to push a project forward. But once I learned more about why those procedures were in place—and started listening to what my co-workers did to gain approval from upper management in a timely manner—I was able to better contribute as an efficient team member.

Put Extra Thought into How You Come Across

When I first started my job at a local nonprofit, I continued wearing all the outfits I wore throughout my internships in college, assuming these would continue to be appropriate. And boy, was I wrong.

About three weeks into the position, a higher-up called me into her office to explain that I needed to be dressing more conservatively. Needless to say, I was taken aback—not to mention embarrassed and confused about what to do next. So for the next few weeks, I only wore pants and sweaters—in the middle of summer in the Southwest.

Finally, my direct supervisor, only a few years older than me but already holding a director role, took me under her wing and explained to me that, while this wasn’t an attack on my clothing choices, we as young professionals need to appeal to more than just ourselves when we’re getting ready in the morning. It might not be a huge deal to you that your hem is a little on the short side, but to a client or others in the office, it makes you look unprofessional—and, well, young.

Similarly, you should watch what you say and how you say it, from in-person interactions to online communications. Notice how others within the office interact with each other and how formal the tone tends to be in meetings and within emails, and craft your messages accordingly. The more you look, act, and sound like your more seasoned co-workers, the more they’ll begin to see you that way.

Show Your Strengths—Without Being Too Much

Finally, remember that there are certain advantages to being the youngest member of your office. For example, in my job search, I was astounded by the number of potential employers who were impressed with my social media experience. Did I have years of professional experience in the social world? No, but it comes naturally to me since I use it every day. We have insights into this powerful medium that our elders don’t, simply because they didn’t grow up surrounded by it.

Millennials are also known for our ambition, enthusiasm, and passion—and these are great traits to bring to the workplace. Sharing your insight, offering your unique expertise, and being excited about the work you’re doing is a great way to stand out in the office.

However, don’t let the less admirable traits of our generation get the best of your role in the company. I am the first to admit I can be a little overly confident at times, which isn’t all bad, but it can be challenging when I receive criticism for things I need to improve on. Acknowledging this trait as both a strength and a weakness helps me keep myself in check and recognize if I’m going overboard. Know your strengths and use them to your advantage, but always consider how you’re coming across to others in the office.

As the newest young professionals, we have a great opportunity to grow ourselves and make an impact in the position we’re in—it’s just a matter of making the right moves. But if you do, you’ll to graduate from newbie status to valued team member in no time.

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Successfully Onboarding At A New Job

August 20, 2013

by Gayle Rigione
Source: Ivy Exec

So you’ve done your homework, put your best foot forward in the interview, and landed that new job. What next?  Don’t get too comfortable yet, thinking you’ve got a honeymoon period when you’re immune from scrutiny and criticism. In truth, once you’ve landed that new job, it’s time to reinforce and continue building that competent, professional image you projected during the courtship stage.

Ultimately, you were chosen because you’re the “best fit” person who could make the greatest contribution to the company’s goals.

Here are some tips for a successful onboarding experience that will reassure your managers they made a great hiring decision when they hired you:

Don’t let any grass grow under your feet.  You might be tempted to use the time between leaving your previous position and starting your new one for some much need R&R.  Not!  This interlude is the perfect time to lay the groundwork for your successful start at your new company. If you haven’t done so already, write that hand-written thank you note to your hiring manager, above and beyond the email you dashed off after your interviews. Also, if appropriate, consider contacting your new teammates to let them know how excited you are to be joining the team.

Learn the lay of the land.  Review the company handbook to learn your new employer’s policies and procedures. Don’t assume you’ll be cut any slack just because you’re new. It’s better to embrace your new workplace culture and understand how things operate ahead of time so you can avoid any missteps or tentativeness when you formally begin.

Check for a formal dress code. If no formal dress code is detailed in a company handbook, find out more about the standards from your manager to be, or from an interviewer you clicked with during the interview process.  When in doubt, err on the conservative side. Many companies have adopted casual dress options, but you should never make any assumptions. Your physical appearance is going to be the first impression you make.

Establish yourself as part of the team.  As the newcomer, it’s up to you to reach out to your associates. Cultivating relationships creates a more pleasant work situation and helps you grasp the office structure and cultural nuances more quickly. If it helps, mentally plan some small-talk topics to use when introduced to new colleagues. Go out to lunch a couple of times a week with your new team mates, if lunch out is part of the company culture.  If you’ve joined a lunch-at-the-desk kind of firm, then join your team mates as they dash out in search of sustenance. Spending even a little time together away from the office encourages conversation and expedites the bonding process.

Avoid office gossip. Participating in office gossip has potential to derail your reputation before it’s even established. People may try to suck you in to interpersonal problems.  They may even want you to choose sides. Do Not!  Just change the subject or excuse yourself and walk away.

Get some serious face time with your boss.  Arrange for an in-depth meeting with your boss to discuss the company’s mission, values and goals, and to further clarify what he or she sees as your role. This is also the time to learn about his or her personal working style, including the preferred methods of communication. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as possible. Arming yourself with information takes much of the guesswork out of your transition, and your boss will appreciate your proactive approach.

Build your personal road map. Set goals for each month of your first 90 days on the job. Having a clear-cut path demonstrates your grasp of the company’s goals and how you contribute. Carefully document your progress, particularly noting challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Arrange to meet with your boss at regular intervals — weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly — to review and make necessary speed and heading course corrections.

Take a mindful and methodical approach to executing your new responsibilities.  You may be chomping at the bit to put your stamp on the business, especially since you were likely brought in to make significant contributions. But it’s best not to come on board with guns blazing. Learn everything you can about current operations to ensure that changes you propose are relevant and necessary.

Maintain a stellar online profile that is 100% non-controversial. With the advent of social media, little is private anymore. Part of building a sterling professional reputation is polishing your online presence. Assume that everything posted on the Internet will be seen by people in your company — the company’s senior management, your direct management, your colleagues. Use platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook appropriately and make sure nothing on any of your social media pages could compromise your professional reputation.

Whether it’s your first or your fifth place of employment, starting a new job is stressful. If you follow these tips you will put your best foot forward during your critical first weeks on the job, and create a solid foundation for future success.

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How To Know If You’re in the Right Career

August 13, 2013

by Catherine Alford
Source: Go Girl Finance

All of us question our careers at some point or another. Whether you’ve had a bad day in the office or an enticing offer from another company, we all wonder sometimes if we should be working in a different job or a different field entirely.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to figure out if you’re in the right career:

Do you enjoy getting up & going to work?

One of the biggest indicators that your job is right for you is if you actually enjoy getting up and going to work! Sure, we all have days when we’d rather stay in bed, but if you’re excited to go in on most days, you’re definitely in the right career. Whether you have great clients, challenging projects, or fun co-workers, all of those are good indicators that you’re in the job you’re meant to be in.

Is your salary an issue?

I know so many people who thoroughly enjoy their jobs regardless of pay. Some lower paying jobs like working in a non-profit or being an elementary school teacher can be the most rewarding. So if you love your job regardless of the number on your paycheck, you know that you’ve found something good.

Do you spend time wishing you were somewhere else?

Some people spend all of their time in their cubicle wishing they were somewhere else, anywhere else in fact. Once 5:00 p.m. hits, they jump out of their seats, and they can’t wait to get home. If this is you, it’s time to reevaluate why you entered your career to begin with.

Do you perform well?

Some people are just born to do certain jobs. If you’re the top salesman, always winning the best teacher award, or getting promoted easily, you likely have an aptitude for the job you are in. These are all great reasons to stay in a career, especially if you love it.

Essentially, there are many reasons that you should stay in your career. These mainly revolve around whether or not you are happy in your job and whether or not you are appreciated for the work that you do.

However, if you can’t answer the questions above with certainty, it might be time to do some soul searching. Remember, life is too short to be in a job you don’t love.

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