If you are about to start an internship or your first professional job out of college, you’re going to want to do some research and reflect on what contributes to making you a great employee. Understanding what it takes for you to give your best to a job is very important, and should probably be done before you walk through the doors on your first day, and definitely before your biannual performance evaluation. You already know you’re talented and have something to offer whatever job you are stepping into, so how can you maximize those talents? Below, we will discuss some of the ways in which you can focus on growing into your job and improving your skills.
One of the most obvious ones is having access to delicious and nutritious meals, which are always provided by our college catering services. Upper Crust Food Service provides fraternity and sorority meal planning to colleges across the country. We believe it is one of the easiest ways to lead a successful life. Learn more by giving us a call.
Plan and Organize
No matter what kind of job you are stepping into, organization is likely going to be a skill that you will have to get very comfortable with. You’ve heard this throughout college and even in high school: organization is a crucial part of a professional routine. There are several factors that play into organization, including time management, but that is an entire topic on its own.
Before you start your day, go through your list of tasks or activities that you have planned and use a project planning tool to establish due dates and the priority of each status for each task. This helps you keep the most urgent and essential tasks at the top of the list while still considering the rest of the tasks that you need to have completed.
When organizing, understand the difference between urgent and important, and always focus on tasks that need immediate attention. If everything is urgent, then nothing is. Be sure to also give yourself enough time to be flexible while keeping your priorities in mind.
Get Plenty of Sleep
We’ve all been there — you’re sitting in class and your head starts to feel extra heavy, your neck starts to feel like rubber, and your eyes start to close. Your head barely starts to slip downwards before you snap out of it and realize that you’re still in a lecture, but want nothing more than to crawl into bed and catch up on sleep.
This is exactly the opposite of what you want to experience when you are starting your job. Again, no matter what you do for work, you will perform better if you are well-rested, and that only happens if you prioritize sleep and sleep with intention. It does take some practice, however, and it’s not your fault if you find yourself struggling to put your phone down. Our modern-day world is filled with distractions that take you away from getting enough sleep, but there are still things you can do to improve this:
- Avoid looking at screens at night. We know this is difficult, but it is essential for your brain to understand that it is time to sleep.
- Have a wind-down routine to prepare your body for sleep. Maybe it’s a bit of night-time meditation, an easy stretching routine, or some chamomile tea and a book.
- Exercise earlier in the day, which can be a difficult way to start your morning, especially if you’re not a morning person, but it will completely change your day.
While we spend a lot of our day communicating with others one way or another, it is a skill that must be developed in the professional realm. Whether you are beginning a job or you are establishing yourself within a role, you are going to need to know who you can talk to when asking for help, how to communicate boundaries, and you’re definitely going to need to know how to communicate when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Being able to effectively and efficiently communicate with co-workers, managers, peers, etc. is something that will improve job performance, as you are able to communicate expectations, understand expectations, collaborate better within the workplace, and identify potential problems with projects.
This is a skill that the younger workforce has grown wildly accustomed to, due to the fact that many of them grew up with distractions and balancing multiple tasks at once. You’ll find that multitasking at work is not that uncommon either, especially if you work for a busy agency that requires you to wear different hats.
You may be thinking that multitasking allows you to get more work done at once, and maybe you are, if that’s how you flow. But what you may be doing is impacting the level of quality of each individual project. According to this article, multitasking can lead to a 40% reduction in productivity. If you are always switching gears in your head, you can’t fully commit brainpower to a single task, and therefore won’t be able to apply yourself to one thing, and getting it done completely before you move onto your next task.
If you are the person who finds yourself multitasking all of the time, try these tips:
- Rather than working on three different projects all at once, prioritize them and work on each one individually. You will be able to provide better quality work as your focus remains on a single topic, allowing you to finish your work quicker and more effectively.
- Simply reject any work that may distract you from your actual job, or communicate with your manager or boss that you cannot multitask effectively.
Prepare For Meetings
Your job that you are in or stepping into may not have a lot of meetings, as it may not always be essential for the function of the business. However, when you do have meetings, it makes you look really good if you show up prepared. That means you have something to write on and write with, you are ready to pay attention, and you have jotted down a few notes or questions that you want to discuss.
You may only need to read a few emails, reports, or other documents, but no matter what it is you have to do to get on the same page as everyone else, make sure you do it. It will eliminate stress and ambiguity about what is going on and again, it will make you look like you have it together.
Know What You Were Hired to Do and Keep Practicing It
This may seem like a no-brainer, and maybe for some, it is. But the most important way to improve job performance is to understand what you are doing. If you are uncertain about a few aspects of your job that don’t make sense to you, or you aren’t sure if your job duties cover it or not, then talk to a supervisor about it.
Once you know what your most important tasks are, focus on those tasks when you do it, and work to get better every time. Practicing your craft should be applied to more activities than just your hobbies — the job you are getting paid to do is something you want to get better at. This leads to a great understanding of your job and ultimately less stress and you navigate certain obstacles that pop up in your day-to-day work life.
Leave Your Work at Work
When we’re trying to impress our superiors or reach a milestone or a goal we have set for ourselves, it can be more than tempting to bring our work home with us. This couldn’t be further from what you really want to do, though. You could always wake up an hour earlier to get to the office earlier and start your day to finish work, but bringing it home will burn you out, make you lose stress, and tell others that you don’t have boundaries when it comes to work-life balance.
Set defined work hours, and don’t work outside of those hours. These days, being a workaholic is praised, but it’s not the way you want to succeed at work. Allow yourself to unwind and relax, and do your best to understand that all of the work that needs to get done can most certainly wait until the next business day.
Understand How to Relax
For many people, relaxation means spending hours on our phones or in front of our screens. Allow yourself some leisure time when you are fully able to relax and de-stress — in other words, you want to find something that is going to restore you. This is critical before stepping back into the office or beginning work again the next day. You are able to let your brain really and truly take a few seconds of peace before getting back into things.
If you have trouble finding things to relax, here are a few ideas:
- Take a warm shower or bath
- Get a massage
- Go for a long walk (without your earphones, if possible)
- Reading fiction
- Cook a healthy meal
Fuel Your Body with Upper Crust
You need to fuel your body for optimum performance. Eating the wrong kinds of food will make you feel tired and irritable, whereas food that gives your body and brain the nutrition and energy they need to work and think better will increase your mood and overall job performance.
Upper Crust Food Service has made it a priority to provide fraternity and sororities with high-quality, fresh, and delicious meals. Our chefs take great care in creating and implementing meal plans that are fun, tasty, and give students all of the nutrition they need to function throughout the day.
To learn more about Upper Crust Food Service or to learn how to bring them to your campus, simply give us a call! It would be our pleasure to provide exceptional food to your campus.