Brand new blog series, welcome! ‘To the Young Professional’ is a collection of short posts and contributions from an array of professionals sharing their tips and experiences thus far with some amazing insight and practical tips to help us level up in our careers.
Whether you are a recent graduate or an existing professional, you may feel as though you are simply coasting through your work life. Don’t worry, we have all been there. Remember, you are in your current role for a reason, whilst it may not be the dream career role for you, it is a stepping stone to the end goal. The habits you form in your current role will act as a necessary foundation for your professional career.
As an advocate for professional development, my hope is that in reading this series, you are encouraged to remain committed to your development as a young professional. Keep scrolling to read about a few things that got me back on track at work.
Importance of over-delivering
When it comes to preparing for meetings, the execution of daily tasks, meeting deadlines, always over-deliver – set and maintain a high standard for yourself. The way you carry yourself in the office and the tasks you are able to accurately execute will catch the attention of senior members of your team and hopefully, senior management.
Always look the part
Growing up, my mum always used to say ‘package yourself well’ (the English translation loses the Twi effect) but it is very key to ensure that you are on point and conscious about your physical brand. Workwear doesn’t have to be bland and staple pieces and accessories can elevate your look and definitely do not have to break the bank. Workwear fashion is no different from your out-of-work wardrobe, it is a form of expression. For women, a quality silk scarf, a tailored blazer, a good handbag are great pieces to invest in and I have found that ties, pocket squares and socks are great expressive pieces for men. Zell is a great muse for the stylish, corporate man - be sure to check out his Instagram for inspiration, fellas!
Ask the right questions and be in the right place
Whilst qualifications and work experience are extremely important, who you know can be vital in propelling your career and simply expanding your network; refer to my professional development blog post for further information on how to add value as an employee. I would definitely encourage you to find a colleague or manager that you can fire all your questions to, work on being visible and constructively vocal in meetings and ask to attend meetings that your colleagues are attending (if you have the time!) that are of interest to you and may help you in your daily role.
Be proactive in the workplace, whether it be your internal social committee, corporate social responsibility initiatives, sports, diversity and inclusion forums – most companies have these already, if you have an interest, get involved. If your company doesn’t have anything like this yet, build a case, get allies on your side and get started.
The key thing to take away from all this is that as a young professional, you need to be proactive, you need to take control of your professional development and you need to ascertain your goals for yourself. Please note that the above tips are transferable and do not aim to be exclusive to those in the corporate world.
Don’t forget to check out the other posts in this series ‘To the Young Professional (TYP)’ and be inspired to take necessary action to take your career to the next level.