Careers advice. It’s a dirty phrase, conjuring memories of college and disinterested support staff. But what if there were some careers advice that everyone should get? Essential workplace skills that would help make the transition into the working world that little bit easier? I think there are and here at PYT we’re all about sharing the secret recipe:
Essential Workplace Skills 1: Managing Up
We’re all fallible and those in leadership roles are no exception; a forgetful person will be a forgetful manager. And whatever they’ve forgotten eventually becomes your problem. Managing your manager is an essential skill for success in the workplace and will go a long way to reduce your own stress. The easiest way is to implement solutions before the problem occurs. For example, you’re worried you haven’t been given all your tasks for an upcoming deadline. Don’t ask your manager if there’s anything else you need to do. Instead, email a list of the tasks you’re aware of and ask them to double-check that you have everything. This is a positively structured prompt which makes their job easier and makes you look proactive. Win-win.
Essential Workplace Skills 2: It’s okay to say no
This is not so much about workload as it is about having an opinion. It’s okay to disagree, in fact, it’s important to do so. You have a unique perspective and you’ve been hired because, at some stage, the company wants that input. Learn when and how to say if you think there’s an alternative way to do something. The likelihood is that your suggestion won’t be used but speaking up shows that you’re engaged. It also establishes you as someone who has the confidence and problem-solving skills for more senior roles.
TOP TIP: Make sure you have evidence to back it up! It doesn’t have to be statistics but a clear and informed logic for your thinking shows business awareness. Probably more important than the solution itself.
Essential Workplace Skills 3: Self-Promotion
It doesn’t stop at the interview. I’m not saying you should take up bragging but you do have to be vocal about your contributions. Practice talking about yourself in private so it feels less weird in public. Buy a day-to-a-page diary to write down your to-do list each day, it’s unbelievably satisfying to physically tick things off and it will serve as a handy record of your tasks and output.
I’m still working on all of these, I think I probably always will be, but my first ventures into the corporate world would have been far smoother had I being aware of these essential workplace skills that no one mentions… Until now.
Word by Akilah Cohen