As a recent college graduate, working in your first full-time job, it is important to make a good impression. As an Associate for THG, I draft op-eds, highlight relevant client news, write reports on congressional hearings, and support the team in any way I can. Even though this is my first job out of college, my work plays a strategic role in helping to accomplish our clients’ objectives.
Because of the crucial role associates play, it is important to make sure we pay attention to all the small details to effectively support our teams. Here are five ways to help you pay attention to the small details that make up the big picture.
- Follow the news.
In public affairs, the news can sometimes dictate what needs to be done that day. Google Alerts are one of the most useful tools in keeping yourself updated. Receiving daily emails with a list of relevant news coverage ensures you do not miss anything. Another option is setting up alerts from news organizations like CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and any other industry specific publication. Being the first to highlight breaking news will impress your client and your boss and help in developing new client strategies.
- Confirm deadlines.
Content is important, but meeting deadlines are equally as important. When you are assigned a project ask for the deadline to ensure you have plenty of time. You never want to be in a situation where the team expects an assignment you did not do. If you don’t think you can complete the assignment, ask for an extension or if you can adjust other, less pressing deadlines. By confirming deadlines, you ensure the team is aware of your progress and there are no unmet expectations.
- Proofread your work.
There is nothing worse than turning in an assignment you worked hard on only to realize the date is wrong or a simple word is misspelled. By producing high quality work, you help minimize the time spent reviewing and editing your assignments. This shows your team that you care about your work, can be trusted to work independently, and are able to take on more responsibilities.
- Ask your co-workers for advice.
Being new to the workforce sometimes leaves me with lots of questions, but your best source of information are your co-workers. They can offer tips and tricks to develop a work flow that better suits you and the team. Don’t be afraid to ask your co-workers questions about the best way to write a report or a better system to cut down time spent on a project. Talking to your co-workers is the best way for advice as they have been in your shoes once before.
- Stay organized.
The most important advice: stay organized. Staying organized keeps you aware of upcoming deadlines, helps manage your time, and makes it easier to track the small details. Keep a daily check-list of assignments or stick post-it notes to your computer to remind you of important dates. When you are part of a team, you have a direct effect on your co-workers and their work, but by staying organized, you help your team accomplish their goals.
Transitioning from a full-time student to a full-time employee can be difficult at times, but the best way to make a good impression is by focusing on the small details. While the big picture is important, it is made up of small details and, as an Associate, it is important that I am prepared so that my team can function as seamlessly as possible.