Most graduates entering the job market are viewed as inexperienced with no leadership skills. They start their first job at the bottom of the corporate ladder because of their lack of skills, but are also afraid to assume a leadership role given that they are the ‘new person in town’. This should not stop any graduate trying to progress with their professional careers and desire to take on a leadership role. With the right attitude, desire to learn, any person can prevail early on in their careers.
Here are few ideas for all young professionals starting their careers:
Start preparing before graduation – Develop your leadership and volunteer for social or nonprofit organizations. Do this while you’re still in college or before you enter the workforce.
Learn to be a leader – While most leadership qualities and skills is learnt through practical experience, there is nothing wrong continuing your education and taking professional development courses on organizational leadership, or reading leadership books.
Displays high integrity and honesty – All great leaders are honest and transparent, with a high integrity and get things done.
Show your eagerness to learn – Don’t be afraid to new information and ways of doing things. At first the information might be overwhelming but don’t give up and ask for help.
Be a problem solver – Leaders are trained to solve company problems and requires people with both analytical skills and good people skills.
Follow the rules – Don’t get too absorbed and try to do too much and fail to execute their basic required tasks. Your first responsibility is doing your job first. Perhaps your first few projects right seem mundane, but its important to do a good job. Do the basics well, and more complex task will come your way.
Find your niche in company – Keep your eye out for areas in the company where you believe you can provide new insight and solutions. Look for things to fix with your unique perspective and skills.
Develop your skills and expertise – Good leaders build their skills, both technical and professional skills, over time.
Learn about the corporate culture – When you start any new job, it is important to take the time to learn and understand the corporate culture and management styles. Learn about your teammates; learn their responsibilities, roles, professional goals, and business philosophies.
Offer to help your co-workers – A helping attitude is always a good path to leadership. Looking for ways to assist your co-workers will not only give the opportunity to get to know everyone in the office, but can also help you move into a leadership role more quickly.
Get to know your boss – Try create relationships with managers and mentors. Try emulate their behavior and approaches. Ask your mentor to work on project he/she is responsible for and study the leadership skills of your mentor.
Get to know teammates and coworkers – Take the time to get your know your co-workers as individuals. Have drink or lunch together.
Share the credit of success – Complete all your task and work as independently as possible, however if you receive help on a successful project, you must give credit to all those that helped.