A look back at 2013: Surviving my first year in the “real” world
2013 – The year known for the birth of Prince George, the premier of Breaking Bad’s series finale and that time Miley Cyrus may have lost her mind. While each of these moments may have left a lasting impression on us in their own way, what about the more important impressions made? What are the most memorable moments of 2013 in your own life? For me, starting my first full-time job out of college definitely ranks pretty high. Both success and struggles accompanied me on this journey into the professional world. With each success I learned something and with each struggle I learned even more. So what are the most important things that I learned my first year here at AMPED?
Step away from your computer and desk. Our society is completely captivated with technology. We find ourselves staring at some sort of device for hours at a time! That’s crazy, if you think about it. Yes, emailing and the vast variety of different platforms we work in are an important use of our time; however, it is just as important to take a step away and use “old school” communication – that is, talking to someone in-person. Popping into a colleague’s office to ask a question, share an idea or to simply say hello not only keeps your mind stimulated but also fosters a great dynamic in the office. Even as technology continues to grow and perform the previously unthinkable, it will never be able to provide the organic experience that face-to-face interactions provide. Plus, a little exercise hopping from office to office never hurt anyone either.
Take advantage of the seasoned veterans around you. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but you don’t know everything. In fact, not knowing much of anything in your first few years with a company is much more likely. This is not to say you’re not a capable, intelligent employee, it just means that there is always something more to learn. There may be different communication styles, platforms, formats, templates, roles – the list can go on and on – than what you are used to.Take the time to learn from those around you. Your colleagues provide real-life perspective and experience, something a textbook or online resource can’t truly provide. They are knowledgeable not only of the specifics within the company you work for, but also bring a lot to the table when it comes to general professional experience. Don’t let an opportunity to learn from these coworkers pass you by. And hey, this one fits in nicely with stepping away from your computer desk doesn’t it? Get over to your coworker’s office and get some advice!
Get to know yourself and find out where your talents lie. Here at AMPED we “wear many hats,” so to say. Luckily for me, this means that I’m given the amazing opportunity to explore different aspects of association management each and every day. From meeting coordination, budget planning, marketing and strategic planning – I get to experience it all. It’s so important to give yourself an opportunity to discover what it is that you do best and more importantly, what you enjoy doing the most. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to dabble in multiple departments, you can still learn more about yourself and realize all that you have to offer. You may be in a graphic design role, but also rock at speaking in front others and leading discussions. Take initiative and lead the next marketing meeting!
It may seem as though these lessons strictly apply to a “beginner,” but this is far from true. Each lesson is important for all levels of professionals. Are you the seasoned veteran in the office? See what you can learn from new employees – they may have ideas that you’ve never considered before! Already have a good feel for where your talents lie? Keep challenging yourself! Find out how you can perfect those talents even more and perhaps discover new ones.