- Kent Gigger
I went to school at BYU, and that's when I knew that I wanted to start my career in Utah. And I've been here ever since. In that time, I've worked for a mix of local companies and international ones. Here are some of the big lessons I have learned so far.
Table of Contents
Be Someone Who Seeks Feedback
It's easy to get comfortable in your career. You have a routine, you know what to expect, and you know the business inside and out. But there is always room for improvement, and your manager is probably just waiting for you to ask for some feedback on how you can improve. Don't be afraid of this! It's hard to hear that we could be doing better at something, but your manager is there to help make you successful.
If you aren't getting this type of feedback from your manager, ask them! They will most likely appreciate it. Being open to feedback will help you grow in your career and improve any relationships with colleagues that may have become strained due to not growing with them or the business.
It's hard to be open to change (I know!), but if your managers and coworkers are willing to put in the time and energy to give you feedback, don't waste their time by being defensive or closed off. Don't be afraid of change! Embrace it!
Find The Right Mentor
Find a mentor or join a group of like-minded people. Mentors and groups are helpful for learning from, getting feedback on your projects or ideas, and bouncing ideas off. They also can be great for support when things go wrong because sometimes that happens too!
There are many professional groups on MeetUp.com, Facebook, and LinkedIn that you can join in your career area. I’m in several different groups, and I have found people to help answer questions, get feedback, and bounce ideas off.
Find yourself a mentor and a group to learn from. This is something I am constantly trying to work on in my career. You can learn from everyone around you no matter how smart you feel you are.
Ask Questions And Speak Up
You don't know what you don't know, so asking questions is a great way to learn more about a company and its work. At the same time, it's essential to differentiate between asking questions and expecting others to do your job for you. Sometimes when people start new jobs, they're hesitant to ask questions because they want to appear like they know what they're doing or think the answers are too obvious.
But more often than not, asking questions can make you look more competent rather than less. Your manager will appreciate that you're trying to understand how the company works and how your work fits into the big picture instead of just putting tasks on repeat without wondering why everything is done that way.
When something problematic happens in your company—and it will happen—don't be afraid to speak up about it! Companies (and the individuals within them) are not perfect, and we can't expect them to be. But we can help them grow by giving detailed and respectful feedback on their missteps.
Analysis The Company Goals And Culture
When you're looking for a job, there are so many different companies you can work for. And when you get there, you want to be sure that where you’re working is the best fit for you. There's a lot of advice out there on finding a company that works with your goals and values—but sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start.
First things first: don't be afraid to do your research! The internet is filled with information about companies, not just what they say about themselves on their websites. Companies have social media accounts, too—and they'll probably interact with other people who have something to say about them. This is your chance to get the inside scoop from people who work there or customers who have tried out their products or services.
It's also super important that you realize what's important to you in a company. Do you want your company to give back? Do you want the office culture to be chill? Do you want it to be highly structured? Make sure that whatever matters most to you is a fit for the company. And don't be afraid in the interview process to ask these kinds of questions! It's not going overboard—it's showing that you're genuinely interested in what they have to offer.
When companies have a clear sense of who they are, it's easier for them to focus on the people that share those values and are a good fit for the company. Find someone or many someones to support you through your career. Many have gone before you; you should learn from them. Don't be afraid to ask others to explain something as if you were a 5-year-old. This also helps you know if they know what they are talking about. Good luck!