Dear Intern/Trainee/Junior Executive, welcome to work-life, a completely new phase of your life. Soon, your work will not only be your earning source but an integral part of your daily routine. It’s almost like being admitted to the school for the first time.
New environment, new learning, introduction to teachers (supervisors), classmates (colleagues) with a time of Tiffin (lunch break) and exactly don’t know what is going to happen.
Unlike school, you’re expected to have some basic knowledge here on a particular subject matter. And you won’t be taught how to manage your work-life.
10 Steps to Kick Start Your Work-Life
Table of Contents
1. Know the Company Profile
Before joining the firm, you might have some rough idea but now you need to know the details, the ins, and outs of the company. Not only the products/services but also the organizational culture, organogram, the departments, the policies, the features.
Place yourself in the organogram and you’ll have an estimation whom you’ll report to and what responsibilities you’ll have. The organogram will also be useful for cross-functional teamwork. Study the company profile they have either in PowerPoint slide or in a proposal written for customers.
Since the first week goes flexibly and with almost no work, you can spend time researching about the company via internal and external sources.
2. Learn the Basics
Every company has a certain process for getting each work done. Try to get to know these. The first time you learn about these, the process may sound complicated and get a little jumbled in your head. Better note down the process for your own sake. However, once you implement the process yourself, you will eventually find it easier.
Also, learn the basic methods of printing, scanning documents. If your office has centralized printing/scanning jobs, get to know it; make sure your PC has the access to it.
This is very important as it will help you always as long as you are in the office. Just like this, learn the basic procedures of your office. Those are easy but significant too.
3. Connect with your supervisor
Your supervisor is the one who assigns you to work and guides you towards work. You can already guess why it is important to connect with your line manager. But he remains busy too, as he is assigned work by his consecutive supervisors.
Try to observe his way of work, you may understand what he is expecting from you. Don’t hesitate to talk to him just because he is your boss. You can ask him about the company profile, about the office. You might talk about his experience too. Learn how he learned his job. It might be your inspiration.
The power distance in any culture is being flexible day by day, thanks to globalization. The supervisor-subordinate relation is not as strict as it used to be in previous decades. Thus, it’s okay to talk non-business with your managers.
4. Be Proactive!
The first weeks are usually not loaded with work. You have enough free time to do nothing. Proactively seek work from your line manager. Be eager to work. That will help you to be dynamic in your workplace. Bonus: You’ll be able to give an impression that your willingness to work is high.
Well for those who are loaded with work right from the first few days, it’s very normal to get stuck and confused. Don’t hesitate to question about the direction to do work. Do not just nod in fear while you don’t understand the steps at all. Ask proactively for directions, guidance.
5. Keep a notebook
This is one advice almost no one tells you in office. Sure, the office provides you stationaries where the notebook is included. Even if you don’t get one, keep one by yourself. You can use either a digital notepad on your phone/tab or you can keep a manual one in an old-fashioned way; whichever you’re comfortable with.
Note down all the things you’re introduced to- the procedures, the product/service features, the daily task, the meeting minors, anything you realize is significant.
It is better if you keep a separate mini notebook for a to-do list. On each page write the date and list down the daily task you need to do. At the end of the day, cut-off or tick mark with a different color pen all the task you’ve completed.
This way you remain organized to yourself and also you might retrieve your pending work anytime. You might be confident that you can remember without writing but soon you’ll have so much work that you’ll tend to forget. So, better to record it either digitally or manually.
The famous Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher, also a venture capitalist and an investor, starts his day by noting down all the task to do for the day, not by seeing emails first. [Source: Inc. magazine]
6. Organize your desk
Although there are facts that many people accomplish their work even in disorganized and lazy ways, it doesn’t quite harm to keep the desk organized. Helps you find documents/things faster.
Also, you rarely tend to lose things if you do so. There are no specific ways to keep your desk neat. Everyone has their own ways. While the work pressure is less and you’ve free time, you can arrange/rearrange your desk according to your own style.
7. Rest a while, Walk a mile
Just saying. You really don’t have to walk a mile. It is healthy to take a 5 minutes break now and then in your work routine. It might be a tea/coffee break, it might be some conversations with your colleagues (doesn’t have to be work related), it might be a walk around the office and calling family or friends too.
Additionally, sitting on the desk, inclined to your laptop or desktop is bad for your spine and posture too. That is why it is better to get out of the desk and walk sometimes. You may try some simple office desk exercise too.
There are people who find it a real struggle to socialize and then there are some who can win hearts of everyone from the very first day. Your colleagues are just not your work-related peeps, they are like classmates in a school. Some of them can be friends, some can be like your elder siblings.
Every colleague is your potential helper to make the adjustment process in the office easier. Socializing with them will increase your adaptability. Socialize with your supervisor even. You may hang out sometimes, go out to eat somewhere with your colleagues.
9. Organize your emails
There are a number of ways to organize your emails. Whether it’s outlook or Gmail, you can group your emails into folders- the important ones, the starred ones, the promotional ones.
Archive your emails regularly or your mailbox will be full and you might lose the important ones too. Edit your signature so that you don’t have to write the same endings for each mail. Furthermore, you can customize the mail settings too.
10. Customize your routine
It is good to have a disciplined routine but it is good to have changed too. Following the same routine might result in monotonous days. Set your specifics according to your requirements.
Your desk, your time management, your way of work might need some changes after a certain interval of time. Few minutes of planning how to accomplish your task is never a wastage. But learn to stick to your plans too.
Your work might take most of the hours of your day but make sure to balance your work and personal life. Success in the workplace can be achieved without being workaholic. You can always find time for your family, friends and even for yourself. You will get a lot of assignments/work ordered by superiors but your routine is your own.
You have the flexibility, to a lot extent, to design it. A lot will change since your commencement in work-life, but your dynamic spirit and a kick-start will help you to maintain positivity.
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Saika Mehnaz, graduating from North South University, Bangladesh is currently working in the Branding sector of Omera Gas One Ltd. She majored in Marketing and HR. Apart from creatively working in Branding, she also has a passion for writing about her personal experiences and what she learned from them. She loves to read books in her free time. Learn more about her @ LinkedIn