STOP, COLLABORATE, AND LISTEN.
While these may be the words to an iconic and catchy song — you’re welcome if it’s now stuck in your head — they are also words of wisdom for a college student or new grad about to start an internship or entry-level job. So, let’s take a piece out of Vanilla Ice’s lyrical genius and apply it to some real life advice.
If you’re anything like me, starting anything new can be extremely overwhelming. Be sure to stop, take a breath, and know that it will take time to adjust. Don’t try to rush yourself. Allow yourself some grace and your transition will be much smoother than if you put ten tons of unneeded pressure on yourself.
You’re in your new job and you want to impress the big cheeses. What’s a great way to do this?
By demonstrating all you learned from those college group projects.
Show that you know how to be a productive team player, that you’re willing to share your ideas, and that you’ll make the effort to work well with your new co-workers. Your ability to collaborate successfully will stand out more than a 4.0 GPA, I promise.
I have saved the best for last. This tip is the most important:
If you cannot listen actively, you will not advance nor impress. Just like your mom used to say, “There is a reason you have two ears and one mouth”. When you start your new job you will have to take in a great deal of information.
It’s important that you be an active listener. Take notes, ask for clarification, and don’t be too prideful to ask for help. Active listeners are some of the most valuable employees. While I am no expert — or famous rapper — by any means, I do work on these things each and every day that I come into work.
These tips will help you transition smoothly, impress the big cheeses, and demonstrate your value as the incredible employee you are!
*Though I don’t know if Vanilla Ice took these tips, he is worth $18 million, so he’s doing something right.
Elena Moeller is currently junior at the St. Edward’s University and Intern of all trades for Proactive Talent in Austin, Texas. Being born and raised in Minnesota I grew up playing hockey, riding snowmobiles, and fishing. One thing you should know about me is that I have never been labeled as shy — I live for getting to know new people and learning new things. This has enabled me to travel the world, become fluent in Spanish, and live in Milan, Italy where I learned a bit of Italian! I find I am happiest at work when I am able to spark my creativity and create something that is useful for our company but is also an entertaining read.