I think that the best jobs are the ones where you learn something that you never thought that you can do. You may get asked to do it or you ask to do it. I would say if you are ever asked to do something that you don't know how to do, say yes whenever possible. (You should be safe.) Sometimes a manager will be see something in you that you may not even be aware of yourself. I never would have guessed that I would end up a learning and development professional. I had a supervisor who asked me to train a coworker. And then the supervisor asked me again when she liked how the new employee had done their job.
Make sure to challenge yourself in whatever job that you do. You won't know how far you can go until you push your limits.
Always stay curious and have an 'always learning' mentality. Ask for help, ask to assist with things that may not necessarily pertain to your job at hand - it can always help you in the future. Also, some people get comfortable in their job and get bored - this is a way to show your superiors you always are looking for more and want to excel.
I'm going back quite a few years here to my own experiences but here are a few valuable things I learned...
1) I learned that I didn't enjoy the manufacturing engineering career - and was able to eliminate that from future choices. This is my own personal preference, others may love it, but it helped me decide one thing I didn't want to do.
2) Technical skill - It was a real Eureka moment when I took a bunch of classroom mathematical modeling of how something worked (a transistor in the linear range) and then applied it into a functional circuit. Wow that gave me such an advantage when I got back to school.
3) Real world implications of what career I was pursuing - What will it be like? What kind of people will I work with? Will I enjoy it?
I'll never forget a quote that a friend of mine made when working at a company years ago. "When you are the only one answering the questions in the room, it's time to find a new room." This company I worked at years ago didn't treat their employees well. I produced wonderful results for them, but the management was horrible. I worked hard to be promoted and was eventually promoted after fighting tooth and nail for every step I got... after 7 years and a couple bad bosses later, I started to wonder why I was there. I was answering most of the questions in the room and realized that I needed to find a new room, and a purpose. I allowed myself to be too comfortable with my job. I wasn't learning anything new and I wasn't growing. It was past time to find a new job.
So don't settle. It's nice to feel like you have job security, but no job is secure. Find opportunities that will help you grow and don't ever settle.
Through my previous part-time jobs and internships, I learned that adaptability is a very important quality to have. With rapid changes in technology, it can be really beneficial if you are able to demonstrate adaptability and be willing to take on tasks/projects that are new and challenging. Even if you might not know how to do certain task/project, your initial reaction to a challenge provides an immediate perception of your adaptability. Change is a common source of stress for a lot of people. If you are willing to spend more time figuring out how to do the new task/project assigned to you and leveraging your professional connections to help, you are setting yourself apart. In addition, always have the right attitude and have confidence in yourself!
The most important thing I have learned throughout my career is that your career path is up to you. For the most part people are willing to help you advance and teach you, but the initiative has to come from you.
You are in charge of your own career and progression!
Hope this helps. Goodluck on your journey!
That's a great question! One invaluable lesson is having a "positive/can do attitude." It goes a long way! I've seen people who don't have this and do not go far. Having this positive attitude will show your boss and colleagues that you're willing to work hard and to do anything that is asked of you. Your boss will trust you more and give you more responsibility if you have this positive attitude.
I did 2 internships when I was in college 1 in Marketing at a Health Center and one in HR/Recruiting at a local family owned company. I think the first lesson I learned is that in real life not everything goes according to what they teach you in college. There were issues that came up where you just have to think through it and come up with a solution that make sense.
Another lesson that I learned is that I learned is the importance of having a good reputation and the importance of networking. After graduation, I moved to another state, and had trouble finding a good job, and then I connected with my former boss and he recommended me jobs and connected me with the hiring managers of those positions.
The best advice is to always to be honest and true to yourself. Find something that is interesting and make sure you learn something everyday. Communicate your ambition to those in your reporting line.
Your accountable for your actions and no one else is while on the job.
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