For most of us, that first real job or even a new job is both exhilarating and terrifying. It’s exhilarating to finally hear someone tell you, “You’re hired.” And, if you’re like most people, before you even start the job you’ll be plotting to buy a few things you think you’ll need or you’ve always wanted. If you’re ambitious, your head may fill with ideas about how to change things. However, when the honeymoon is over, staying motivated at work will be the key to your success.
If you ever find yourself lacking the inspiration and desire to thrive, here are a few things you can and should do. Try taking a few minutes to connect your future to your present. What do you want in the future, why do you want it, and how do today's activities connect you to that future goal? Many of the millennials I spoke with said, taking a few minutes to do some goal setting or planning really helped them regain clarity in their vision. Dreaming about what their ideal life would look like inspired them to work hard on the tasks of today.
Build a network of coworkers that will give you positive energy. Avoid anyone that drains your energy. Reach out to someone that is excited about what they are doing and ask for help. Most will, but don't take their energy away either. Be ready to give back. Get excited about their advice and tell them how great they are. It's amazing how far gratitude and appreciation can take us!
Remember that you were hired because of certain positive qualities you showed during the interview process. You may have come across as smarter, more articulate, enthusiastic, self-directed, and so on. What were those qualities? If you aren’t sure, ask other people what they think and then build on what you learn.
Find out what the team's goals are and be supportive. Have fun. Treat everyone with respect. Remember, no job is beneath you, lend a hand whenever you can. Take charge of your own growth as a leader. The more you work on you, the more you will have to offer others. This is the key to advancement.
Final tip: if you want to advance quickly in today’s workforce you must add value to your company. Look for cost effective ways to improve efficiency and / or productivity. Bring in a new client or volunteer for that new project. Do your homework and be proactive vs. waiting for someone to tell you what to do next. In other words, act as if the business you work for was yours. People will notice.
If advancement doesn't play a factor in your motivation, remember these same tips will not only get you attention where you are, but are the very things your future employer will be asking about during the interviewing process. And who knows, this may be the reason someone steals you away to lead something bigger.
- John Wasserman, Author of No Shorts, Flip-Flops, or Sunglasses: How to Get and Make the Most of Your First Real Job, has worked with thousands of 18- to 25-year-olds teaching them the basics of business.
Taking a mental break? Check out 3 Quick Job Tips for Millennials in Today's Economy.
by John Wasserman
Proceeds benefit Children's Dyslexia Centers