5 reasons why no one will take you seriously at work
You’ve graduated university and are raring to go with the job search, excited to be starting the next step of the journey. The only problem is that not everyone will share your enthusiasm. If you are lucky, busy professionals and HR teams may glance (briefly) at your resume. Disheartened? Don’t be. It is part of the job hunt lifecycle and your first introduction to the hierarchy of the workplace.
Here are five reasons why no one will take you seriously at work. At first. To get over the hurdles, here are five tips on how to make sure that situation changes.
You are young
For many of your potential new colleagues, you are just another young gun, eager to impress. They have seen plenty of fresh graduates come and go. While older potential colleagues can impart wisdom and experience, don’t forget you also have something to offer even at this early stage: a fresh perspective. By 2020, millennials (those typically born between 1980 and 2000) will form 50% of the global workforce, according to consultancy PwC. As such a dominant part of the workforce, your attitudes and opinions will matter. Use this to your advantage in the interview and on the job to show you can contribute to, and shape, the discussion.
Lack of previous work experience means you will most likely be new to the rules of the (office) game. This can be as simple as getting used to office etiquette, such as punctuality and how to write a professional email. Many of your colleagues will not have the time to teach you.
Internships and summer jobs are two ways to gain valuable soft skills and demonstrate to employers you will fit in easily. While some companies have garnered controversy by overworking – and underpaying – young people (sometimes atrociously), the right internship can provide a useful introduction to the workplace. Some university courses even count internship experience as credits towards the degree programme – bonus! Summer jobs are another avenue to gain crucial competencies such as communication and team working skills. A 2015 study of US students by Stanford University found students who had had summer jobs did slightly better in exams than non-working peers thanks to superior time management and persistence.
Time is money
No one wants to live at work, and there is always lots of work to be done. That means the people you encounter will be rushing to meet deadlines and juggle meetings, rather than sit down for lengthy chats. This is particularly true if your future boss or colleagues are trying to be productive and efficient – to keep that all-important work life balance. If you want to start your career off on the right foot avoid the four habits that lead to burnout,
and instead observe good practices early on to be more productive and focused.
You might even earn some grudging respect from your elders for your working smarter, not harder, approach.
Ignorance is not always bliss
The Greek philosopher Socrates is credited with the musing that as a wise man “I know that I know nothing”. Let’s face facts, as a fresh graduate or new starter, there will be many things about company culture or the specific industry that you don’t know. That’s fine, part of the journey is about asking questions and learning your trade. But you can help make the hiring decision easier by doing some basic homework. Do some research about the company and read news reports and studies to stay informed about latest industry trends.
They don't know you from Adam
There are plenty of graduates and young job hunters out there. There are just as many ways to find a job, from online job portals to networking events and contacts through friends and family. There is no one way to find the right job. But in all these scenarios, be patient. Recruiters and potential co-workers will not take you seriously right from the start just because of your mere presence. Take the time to establish relationships and build a rapport with people, and reap the rewards in either getting that great first job or first promotion.