First job after university? Sarah Watson offers some advice to kickstart your CPD.
Every professional wants to succeed in his or her chosen field, and gain benefit from their effort and commitment. Below are three tips for you to consider in helping to achieve that success in your business environment;
Listen and observe
Whilst considering your own professional aspirations and goals, recognise that listening to and observing others will aid your understanding and success within the business environment. Look for those people who have strong business relationships, a solid reputation, or a well-regarded demeanour.
Listen to how they interact with others; whether they remain purely business like or take a more sociable interest in their contacts. Then watch how others respond, and whether there is any change in their response to that particular person, in contrast to the next.
By observing how other people interact, you can develop an understanding of different character traits in the workplace, and how best to encourage and nurture those relationships. If you conduct yourself with the correct business communication skills to interact with someone else, that business relationship is more likely to progress and become of benefit to all parties concerned.
Whilst considering your own professional aspirations and goals, recognise that listening to and observing others will aid your understanding and success within the business environment.
Developing an understanding of what type of interaction makes a person flourish in the business environment creates professional success for you too.
Complement knowledge with delivery
What benefit is intelligence and understanding of your profession, if it cannot be successfully delivered? Having that knowledge is the starting point for being recognised as a professional in your field, but your ability to execute and deliver that knowledge is what defines your success.
Alongside your intelligence, you need to demonstrate commitment, integrity and confidence. To successfully offer and deliver that level of knowledge, you need to invest in developing business relationships to share your expertise.
Listen to others and observe their interactions, and acknowledge that your professional knowledge will mean nothing if not executed correctly. If the business connection matters, give it the time and attention it deserves.
Be a team player
Whether you are part of a large corporate team or a sole trader, strong business connections are crucial for success. You need to consider the purpose of your role by what you can offer to other professionals; how you can help to create a mutually beneficial business relationship; and how you can best contribute your knowledge and expertise to like minded professionals and those who will benefit from it.
Consider the professional goals you wish to achieve, and how you are more likely to achieve them with the support and recognition of other professionals working alongside you. You will no doubt have respect for those professionals who demonstrate skill, connection and dedication, and so will need to assess the values that matter to you, in order to execute them personally.
If your first approach to the business environment is ‘what’s in it for me?’ that will create a particular mindset of putting your needs and your potential for achievement at the forefront of your thoughts and actions. That outlook will create a focus on what is of benefit to you as the starting point, rather than consider what skills you can bring to others.
The approach of ‘what can I do to help?’ is a far more positive outlook, seeking a different style of connection with other professionals from the outset which will be of greater benefit to all parties.
Whether you are executing your role within your team, trying to raise your profile within the wider business community, or simply trying to create the right approach in a networking situation, the thought process of what you can do to help other professionals will put emphasis on a more positive mindset in which to bring your skills to the table.
About the author
Sarah Watson has worked as a legal secretary for more than 25 years. She is the author of The Corporate Wife Handbook.