Being Young

May 24th, 2013

Being young in your field of work can be hard. Here are some things I’ve learned over the past few years which have helped me in the professional world.

Be a Sponge

Your fellow colleagues likely have much more experience than you do, both in your line of work and in life. When one of them offers you a suggestion, it means they care about you enough that they are willing to share some of that experience with you. At the same time, be conscious of the decisions they make in their own projects.

Communicate Effectively

Other people in your field probably know a lot more than you do about how to talk with each other. Communication is hard; It’s not something you become great at in a day. One thing I’ve found to be helpful is to be extremely explicit in what you say. Ambiguity can lead to confusion, and you don’t want to confuse your coworkers.

Learn From Your Mistakes

You will make a lot of them. The best way to avoid mistakes again in the future is to learn from them. Forget a file in a handoff to a different team? Apologize, send off a new set of files, and remember to make double sure the next time you hand off files. People will forgive you the first few times, but after that you might gain a reputation as one who makes mistakes. Make sure that doesn’t happen.

Know Your Place

Chances are you’re working below people—a lot of people. Get to know the names and faces of everyone who is in a position of authority over you. Being nice can go a long way, and hopefully after a few times of introducing yourself they’ll remember you too.

Never Stop Learning

Never let your work habits become set in stone. Learn new programs. Figure out clever ways to solve new problems. As long as you continue to push yourself in learning new things, you will have a better chance at getting ahead—regardless of your age.

Keep at it.

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