Career Advice from a Business Newbie

Hi there everyone! Sorry I’ve missed you for the past few days. As you can imagine, work has been getting extremely busy lately and I’ve been spending the past few days staying late at work and putting in a little more time once I get home to stay on top of deliverables I have due by the end of the week. Welcome to the real world of business I guess!

Although I still have a few deliverables to work through this evening and want to spend a little time with Bart since I’ve been strapped for time these past few days, I couldn’t leave you guys hanging for an entire week, so I’m popping back in for a little “Thinking Out Loud” hosted by Amanda over at Running With Spoons. Before I jumped into my career, I did my homework and made sure to connect with a few successful business people in the Seattle area and got a lot of great tips that I’ve kept in my back pocket as I’ve kickstarted my career. Today, I’m sharing a few of the best pieces of advice that I’ve received thus far, so hopefully those of you who are getting ready to jump into the business world can take these to heart just as I did! 🙂

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#1–Work/Life balance is important, so set your boundaries early— I must admit, I’ve been slacking on this one a bit lately, but one of the best pieces of advice I got from a mentor was to make sure to set boundaries for myself at the start of my career. It’s easy to convince yourself that putting in the extra hours and turning in a project a midnight rather than the next morning looks better to your boss, and depending on your area of business, this may be true. Overall though, companies like to invest their time in people who have lives outside of the office and are able to balance work with other, bigger priorities. By setting aside certain times of the day to disconnect from your work email and spend time with your family early on, you set the tone for the rest of the career and people you work with will learn to respect that. Not to mention, people who find a healthy work/life balance tend to not get burned out of their careers as quickly, which is definitely appealing for a business who has poured resources into developing you as an employee. So in the end, it’s a win/win!

#2–Don’t be afraid to ask questions–When I first started out in my position, I was surrounded by people who were at least 10 years older than me, so it was tough for me to ask questions during meetings because I was so afraid I would look stupid. One of my mentors had mentioned that no question is a stupid question (with some exemptions of course), and it’s taken a few weeks for me to truly realize how right she was. People respect you more for taking the time to ask questions and truly understand the business. Plus, it’s easier to turn over successful projects when you have a firm understanding of what you’re doing. Obviously 🙂

#3–Network, Network, Network!–There is no such thing as too large of a networking base in the world of business. The more people you connect with, the more opportunities you have to grow in your career. As you begin making connections, it’s important to remember to be authentic and genuine with each person you meet and try to help them achieve any goals they may have that you can contribute to. What goes around truly does come back around.

#4–Continue to challenge yourself— There should never be a time when you become overly comfortable in your job. When things start to get repetitive and easy, it’s important to start looking for new opportunities or ask for more tasks in your position so you can continue to grow. So many people fall into a rut and don’t look for other opportunities because they get comfortable where they’re at, but if you’re looking to grow, you need to continue to push yourself and grow your breadth of knowledge each and every day.

And with that, I’ll listen to my own advice and take a little time to unplug from work and blogging for the night. Have a fabulous Thursday!

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