When it comes to entering the world of work after college, everything can seem a little overwhelming. There’s so much to learn, so much you don’t know, so much you feel you need to get up to speed on. This is exactly why it’s so important to embrace diverse perspectives and experiences and have conversations at work! Entrepreneur.com shares that one of the best ways to become successful is to understand the perspectives of others. So, how exactly do you do that? Let’s jump right in…
Ask Questions Often & Show CuriosityAs a young professional, never be afraid to ask questions. No one expects you to be a business guru straight out of your senior seminar class, but they do expect you to be inquisitive, show curiosity, and embrace a growth mindset in your new role. You will never understand the full scope of the business nor the roles of different departments or teams if you don’t ask. A concrete understanding of the interconnectivity and differing opinions and priorities in a business will lead you to the top.
However, this also comes with a caveat. You must ask good, thoughtful questions! Don’t ask questions you can figure out on your own or without doing necessary research first. It’s important you take the time to fully think through your thoughts and questions.
Be Mindful of Other Opinions & Expertise
It’s easy to get stuck in our own mind when it comes to the world of work. You might have spent years training how to be a creative designer or a top sales consultant, but when it comes to integrating those skills to benefit the organization you work for, you’re going to have to be mindful of other opinions and expertise. Let’s walk through a couple examples:
If you’re a graphic designer and you’ve been tasked with crafting a brochure for a new product release, your goal may be to create beautiful imagery that pops off the page. While that’s important, you need to think about, “will this sell the product?” or “will this cost more to produce than the product itself costs?” Sometimes business goals differ from our own.
If you’re an event marketer, you may want to produce an event that is fun and light, but you must remember that the sales team knows the customer best. They know what that customer will want at an event, they know how to pique the interest of a prospect, they know how to position your product or services for selling, so their ideas and tips must be incorporated when planning events, even if you think you know best.
Collaboration and consideration across departments and teams is the only way a business will succeed, and ultimately if you embrace this interoffice communication, you’ll rise to be a great leader someday!
Have the Confidence to Share Your Ideas & Opinions
Once you’ve been inquisitive, asked the questions, and thought through your opinion or a new solution—share it! A study by SHRM recently showed that only about half of employees will share their ideas and speak their mind at work. They stated, “…often we choose the path of safety and give up the possibility of addressing issues that…limit our productivity, chip away at self-confidence and constrain opportunity.” If you don’t share your ideas openly, provide feedback where it’s warranted contributing a new perspective for growth, you nor the business will grow in the long run.
It’s easy to lack confidence when something is new to you, which is why it’s so hard for so many young professionals to share their thoughts confidently. Embrace that discomfort and start sharing, it’s the only way to gain confidence, and ultimately, the respect of your peers and managers.
Don’t Internalize Feedback
That being said, it’s important to be prepared for pushback or lack of acceptance of something you propose when you share ideas. A lot of young professionals come to us and ask why their colleagues aren’t listening to an idea, they take it personally. Our response is that it is important to remember the bigger picture. You’re working for an organization that is bigger than you, you’re a part of a greater mission—this goes for whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee. You need to consider all aspects of the business and realize that people are busy, ideas have financial implications, the market dictates what is released or pursued at different times—the list goes on. We’re going to share a little tough truth here, at the end of the day, it’s all about business longevity, and you must consider that moving forward, understanding that nothing is personal, it’s all business.
Need Help Embracing New Mindsets for Growth? NimblyWise Can Help.
If you’re struggling in one, or a few, of these areas, you’re not alone. NimblyWise is dedicated to helping young professionals develop critical workplace skills, like embracing and leveraging varied opinions and perspectives for success. Let’s chat to see where your skill gaps may be and discover how we can help lead you to success!