Advice for those starting their career
It can be daunting when you start to think about how best to prepare for the world of work, so we thought we would share here some tips and guidance for entry-level and early career professionals on how to get the most from that first job whilst also help you to succeed in the long run.
Do your research
Carry on with the research that you will have done throughout the different stages of the selection process: keep abreast of the latest news and press releases on the company; follow their social media channels; keep an eye on what their competitors are doing; and seek out sources of information to understand the latest trends and developments in the sector, for instance, attend a webinar on a specific topic, or go to a trade fair… ongoing research will not only demonstrate your continued enthusiasm and commitment to your new role, it will turn heads as you show your new colleagues your depth of knowledge!
It takes time to get your head around the systems, processes and workflows in a new job, so be patient. And, despite your eagerness to learn, don’t get frustrated at not understanding things straight away, sometimes it can take a long time, e.g., 6 months, to really get to grips with the ins and outs of a business, big or small. So be kind to yourself, and give yourself time to digest your learnings and your new found role, it will in time become second nature.
“Curiosity killed the cat” is only half of the expression which is often stated as a warning, however the second half of the phrase - “satisfaction brought it back” – demonstrates just how worthwhile it was to take the risk and ask the question as you reap the reward in the knowledge you’ve gained. Don’t be afraid therefore to ask questions - as we’ve said above, you are not expected to understand everything being said initially, so it’s important to ask questions, or ask for help if you need it. Having a “buddy” or “mentor” as someone you can turn to for all your questions can be a great help, so if you’re not automatically assigned someone, don’t be afraid to ask if someone can take on this role. Your colleagues are there to support you, and will appreciate you asking questions to get ahead.
When working as part of a team you will be collaborating, sharing ideas and points of view with your team mates, and by doing this you will not only build your confidence, but you will also build your “brand” and make yourself visible amongst the team. Whilst you do want your voice to be heard, always make sure you remain professional and welcome the different voices of those around you so to learn others’ points of view – understanding colleagues different perspectives and needs is an excellent way to form a full picture of the organisation and where your role fits in. Equally important to speaking up, is to listen – you will be absorbing so much information during the first few weeks and months, having a notebook handy where you can jot down non-sensitive information that you can refer back to at the end of each day, can be an excellent tool to consolidate your learning and build your confidence.
Create learning opportunities
It’s important when in a new role that you are proactive in your learning, and go out of your way to meet the different people across the organisation. Break outside of your comfort zone, introduce yourself to other teams and create the opportunity to be with people out with your direct team and in situations that are less familiar to you – people will be eager to share their knowledge and insight, but you may need to be the one to take the initiative, so be brave, confident and seize that opportunity to learn from those around you. Surrounding yourself with diverse people, with different backgrounds and perspectives, is proven to increase innovation and success. For this reason, it is important to have a presence in the physical office where possible – hybrid or remote working is great, there are benefits, but there are also down-sides too: outside the office you are less immersed in the working environment. In the office you will learn from others around you and in the long term this will enable you to develop and grow, so do create a working pattern that means you have face time with your colleagues.
Know when it’s time to take the next step
If after a length of time you feel you have reached your peak in that first job, and you are no longer learning, developing and growing in your career, and, if after speaking with your manager there aren’t any clear plans for your future, then it may be time to seek out the next step. Make sure though that you are moving on for the right reasons, and are confident voicing your motivations for when you come to that question at an interview – ideally, the next role will be one that matches up with your aspirations for growth and development and offer scope to fulfil your long-term career plans. Alongside career advancement, perhaps a higher salary and title will appeal, and that is important too, but it is equally important to think about the softer benefits such as, company culture, working environment, values etc. – these are sometimes harder to see on paper, but easily explored throughout the hiring process. These will be elements that play a pivotal part in your decision making when choosing that next step.
Don't forget to explore the rest of our library for more great hints and tips including advice on how to put together a CV and how to prepare for an interview. Or why not listen to our podcast on where to start with you job search. Our specialist team are also fountains of knowledge and would be more than happy to help so do reach out to us with any questions!
If you are looking to kickstart or further your publishing career then do be sure to get in touch with our specialist team! We love meeting with all the brilliant publishing talent out there and supporting you with the next steps in your career! You can also explore all our latest vacancies and apply for roles today right here!
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