EXPERIENCE WHAT’S NEXT: LESSONS FOR YOUR FIRST YEAR AT YOUR FIRST GIGHR, Experience What's Next
Laura Gabriel, Talent Acquisition
As a student, I always had my eye on the prize. I had a clear vision of the future and a path that led to success.
Nevertheless, when I first started at Octagon in 2016, I did not know what path to take to find success in our organization. I did not know what decisions to make or what my end game would be. The real-world work environment I found myself in was new and different. I was given 20 years to master being a student. Now, I was starting my first year as a professional, a completely new world to learn.
My first year at Octagon provided great opportunities for growth and learning. Here are some tips that will help ensure you have a positive first year at your new gig.
As a student, I ran on a firm schedule. Start times and end times were always known, and the day’s journey was never much of a surprise. Instead, as a professional, I am faced with last minute requests, moving parts, and meetings that may or may not run over. Every day is different. For someone who leans type-A, this was a challenge, but I learned to ‘prepare’ for the unexpectedness.
When things do not go as planned, instead of seeing a challenge, see an opportunity for growth. The unexpected will expose you to new areas of the business, people and skills that will expedite your professional growth. Flexibility is key. The sooner (and better) you adapt, the more successful you will be.
Don’t Be Afraid To Challenge Your Teammates.
At first, team structure and hierarchy was very apparent (and sometimes, intimidating) to me. Initially, I felt like I was supposed to agree with everyone on my team, especially my manager. With a year gone by, I have learned how to respectfully and articulately propose new ideas.
New ideas are crucial. Take advantage of your fresh perspective, and do not be afraid to contribute new thoughts and ideas. Come prepared with independent research to determine best processes, and speak up when you see improvement – you’ll become a valued team member who brings new thoughts to the table.
Know Your Business Inside and Out.
The most successful employees are those that understand the full picture of an organization. Do not get isolated in your department, or your day-to-day tasks. Be in touch with the organization around you. For me, that meant knowing what events my account teams have going on that week, understanding our senior leaders’ goals and taking advantage of every learning session offered.
Identify processes that are not clear to you, and make it your business to flesh out the gray area. Just because you have earned your degree does not mean that the learning stops. The more you know and prepare, the better you will perform and more confident you will be.
Demonstrate Expertise While Not Being the ‘Expert’.
As I continue to find my place amongst my coworkers at Octagon, I still find myself seeking out the areas where I can show my knowledge.
I found that it boosts your confidence, and provides opportunities to stand out. Your peers and higher ups will appreciate your thoughtfulness. You can start with something simple like knowing everyone’s name and role. Contribute your thoughts first in an open brainstorm. Become an expert in processes and procedures that fall under your purview.
There are few things more intimating than your first job out of school. But this is also one of the most exciting times in your life! Embrace the scary, endure the challenging and celebrate the wins. Have any questions? Our inbox is open at email@example.com.
Octagon’s Talent Acquisition team has a blast engaging with talent interested in the field of sports and entertainment marketing. We are always on the look-out for ways in which to match them with our great opportunities.