Making the Most of Your Job

As a working twenty-something, I have learned a few things about the working world. I am by no means an expert, but a little bit goes a long way in the professional world. Most people spend 8 hours a day with the same colleagues (save for vacation and sick days), so your relationships with them will play a role in your career.

Making the Most of Your Job

Be polite, and show an interest in your colleagues.
When you are in the lunch room or kitchen, or walking down the hallway, say hello and ask about their evening. If you know that they are fans of the local hockey team, ask them if they saw the last game. I have found that people are generally nicer when you show an interest in them, and this will improve your working relationship with them. Do you have to invite them to dinner and keep notes on their family? Not at all; just show that you are empathetic and care about their general well-being.

Keep notes.
Take notes, and make sure to read them over. If you learn a new system, a report, meet a new department, or work on a new type of project, write down what you have learned. The steps you take, the information you need, the people who can help. Not only will it help you while you are still learning, it could potentially help when you are training someone new.


Ask questions, and listen to the answers.
I find that a lot of people are scared to ask questions when they start a new job- they don’t want to bother people, they don’t want to admit that they don’t know something, or they don’t think they know the right question to ask. Keep reminding yourself that no one knows everything at the beginning, and that everyone had to ask questions. The equally important part? Listen to the answer you get. Make sure you understand it, and ask any follow up questions then and there (if possible).

Take the extra step.
Go the extra mile sometimes. If someone is away sick, offer to help with a report or project. If a colleague seems overwhelmed, offer to help.  If you notice that something is lacking or missing, try to fill in the missing information. Ask before you do something to make sure that you aren’t stepping on anyone’s toes, but more often than not, people appreciate the help, and they notice. My only caveat is that it doesn’t overwhelm you. I have a habit of taking on too much- working an extra hour a day unpaid, regularly taking on others’ duties, and generally overworking myself. Find that balance.

fea960f73dd99534bb949f56636341d8Via Pinterest

People become complacent and self-absorbed in their jobs. Life is stressful- work is no excpetion- and they are there because they need an income. However, consciously applying yourself will improve your job and your ability to move forward. Every little thing makes a difference!

What are your career tips? What stands out to you?

Until tomorrow,
The Historian!

8 thoughts on “Making the Most of Your Job

  1. Halee Pagel March 29, 2016 / 1:43 am

    This is all very useful advice! I’m gonna start keeping notes on who to go to with different questions. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • anhistorianabouttown March 29, 2016 / 10:18 pm

      Thank you!! I find it really helped at the beginning- if nothing else, I knew that technical questions always went to X, for example. It feels like you are building knowledge even when you seem lost all of the time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Alex March 29, 2016 / 12:01 pm

    I remember a really good tip from my first week of proper work – ‘do a good job regardless of what the job is, and learn everyone’s name’.


    • anhistorianabouttown March 29, 2016 / 10:20 pm

      Those are fantastic tips, and entirely practical. No one is above any job, and people will remember that you were willing to lug and unpack boxes and count envelopes when no one else will. Also, learning names certainly shows that you are a thoughtful person, and that you are attentive- never bad things to showcase 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. aranislandgirl March 29, 2016 / 6:32 pm

    Excellent advice, I completely agree with all of it. You would be a joy to work with!


    • anhistorianabouttown March 29, 2016 / 10:24 pm

      Oh, thank you so much!! I like to think that we are all in this together, and that the good energy that each of us puts out comes back to us 🙂 Hopefully others do as well!!


  4. mt077 March 29, 2016 / 10:54 pm

    Great advice.


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