When starting a career, many employees focus solely on impressing their employers with a diligent work ethic and an eagerness to learn. While those things are important, many new employees overlook other aspects of their careers that could actually harm their futures. The following are five actions taken as a new employee that can make or break your future.
In college, you likely learned a lot about your chosen career path. Unfortunately, what may not have been taught in the classroom is the importance of things like selecting the right retirement fund and becoming properly insured with health insurance and life insurance.
When starting a new job, meet with the company’s human resources rep as soon as possible to discuss the company’s benefits package. Review such topics as the cost of health insurance, whether a life insurance policy will be provided and whether an employer-sponsored retirement plan is offered. While you may think that your youth offers plenty of time to start saving for retirement, the longer you wait to invest, the longer you’ll have to work before retiring.
Interacting with Coworkers
While trying to impress your new boss is important, you must also focus on building connections with coworkers. You’ll likely be interacting with coworkers regularly to complete work projects or for other reasons. By building solid coworker relationships early in the game, you’ll avoid complications and miscommunications as you settle into the new job.
Building a Network
While you may love your new job now, the excitement can quickly fade. Begin networking with others in your career field within your local community now in case this job doesn’t turn out. Professional groups, online social networks and conferences are all great outlets for building a professional network. By building a solid network, you’ll have others to turn to for job resources and references when looking for new employment.
Creating a Portfolio
As the months at a new job transition into years, you’ll soon forget about past projects you completed. To avoid losing track of the important work you’ve completed, begin building a project portfolio soon after starting a new job. This portfolio can serve multiple functions. The portfolio can impress potential future employers during the interview process if you ever decide to leave the current job. The portfolio can also provide a strong case for a pay increase during annual performance reviews.
The workplace impressions you build during your first few months on the job will carry through into your future employment. When making mistakes on the job, be honest with your boss about the slipups rather than trying to conceal them. This honesty will likely help you build a reputation for being a trustworthy individual and can help you land future raises and references.
There is much to learn when starting a new job. Many actions you take now can have a major impact on your future career. From building networks to being honest, take the correct actions now to enjoy greater rewards later.