For young people and college graduates starting out in the business world, it can be an exciting and daunting time. Freshly armed with all the knowledge that you have gleaned from marketing, business and other courses, you probably feel like you’re ready to take on the world. A quality education is undoubtedly a powerful way to get a head start. However, once you are on the job you will find that there are plenty of things that they don’t teach you in the classroom. Navigating the world of corporate culture requires more than formal learning. Today we’ll go through a few critical skills that you can work on to help you hit the ground running in your career:
Oiling the Wheels
So much of business is about creating, nurturing and managing personal relationships. Once you are in the thick of things, you will find that building a strong rapport with clients, partners and colleagues will be your ticket to success and advancement. Thoughtful corporate gifts when closing a deal, on birthdays or the holidays are one way to let those key stakeholders know that you value their contribution to your business life. Even simple things like remembering spouses and children’s names, acknowledging family lifecycle events and other occasions will help establish a deeper connection that can make the difference when deals are on the line.
Once upon a time he or she that left the office last was the winner. Today, people have woken up to the fact that hours spent in the office do not necessarily equate with productivity or results. If you’re using your time efficiently and productively and achieving results, you are far more likely to catch the eye of your superiors than the guy who spends half the day schmoozing with colleagues, only to leave with the janitor at 10:00 pm.
Technology is all-pervasive in our modern lives, and it can sometimes seem impossible to escape the call of our phones and computers, even when we are at home. Effective businesspeople use this to their advantage by finding a balance between being available after hours and becoming a slave to their devices. A well-timed email response in the evening can show your boss or important client that you are always on the ball, so set aside fixed times when you check and respond to anything urgent at home and stick to them. Your family or partner will know that they have your undivided attention for the rest of the evening.
Work the Network
In the business world, as the old saying goes, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. This might sound cliché, but it couldn’t be more accurate. A connection you make today may bear fruit years down the track in ways you never imagined. Whether it’s networking events, conferences or strategically growing your base on LinkedIn, the power of networking can have a profound impact on your career. It takes a lot of work, but stick with it and you’ll surely reap the rewards in the end.
Learn to Listen
At this stage of your journey, it’s crucial to understand how much you still have to learn from the more experienced people around you. Every successful business person achieved their position by listening to those around them and taking important lessons on board from mentors, superiors or more seasoned colleagues. Keep your ears and mind open, and you will be far better for it.
Whatever your career path or industry, building a successful work life takes time, effort and perseverance. Hopefully, these tips will help you along!