It’s hard to believe that just a year and a half ago I was a new graduate entering my first role out of school, with the Great Canadian Sales Competition. Furthermore, it’s hard to believe how fast the time has passed by. I remember my first day. My first week. At the time, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. As I am sure most recent grads experience, it was completely different -- but it was great.
I started with the Great Canadian Sales Competition as the Competition Coordinator and Regional Manager of Ontario. I was the first full time hire for the competition, outside of its Director, Sheila Cassidy. As such, the role required us both to be extremely flexible and there were a lot of times that it felt like that old saying “you either sink or swim”. There were a lot of learning curves within defining what my role was and what the competition actually needed from a Coordinator.
I am now the Manager of Campus Recruitment and Operations and I have the opportunity to manage this year’s Competition Coordinator and Regional Managers. I entered a growing company, in a brand new role and I learned a lot along the process. By all means, I am no expert on how to succeed in a new position, but I do feel inclined to share what I learned. See below my 5 tips to help you define your place within a new role and company in your first year.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
First off, be resourceful. There are many resources that you can utilize to figure something out - and trust me, your boss will appreciate the initiative. But with that being said, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your boss wants nothing more than to see you succeed, so ask them questions. Use them for their knowledge. There is absolutely no reason why you should start working on something and have to redo it, just because you didn’t ask the question.
Identify your strengths
Your strengths are ultimately the keys to your success. Everyone has different strengths in different areas. From the get-go start to identify what you like and what you are good at. See what excites you and look to see what you do differently than everyone else. Start practising these skills and start to define them. And lastly ask to be a part of projects that utilize these skills.
Work on your weaknesses
Everyone has things that they wish they were better at, but I’ve learned to look at them less like weaknesses and more like an opportunity to develop. Ask for feedback. Chances are if you think you are weak in an area, your boss probably does as well. Utilize them to coach you through your weakness and to help you improve it.
Enhance your credibility
As cliche as it sounds, don’t be the last person in the office and the first person to leave. You need to prove to your boss and yourself that you deserve to be there. Go above and beyond when asked to complete a project. And when that is finished, be proactive and find other ways to put your skills to use.
You may be new to the role, but don’t sit through meetings in silence. Show the initiative to engage and contribute to the conversion. Utilize meetings as a way to learn as much as you can about your organization and the way that it works. You need to be visible. The more people that see and hear you, the sooner that they will come to you in the future for help.