If you're just entering the workforce, how do you know which first step is the right
first step to take? Once you get your foot in the door, how can you avoid making mistakes and climb the ladder to success? Hannah Seligson, author of New Girl On the Job: Advice from the Trenches
, interviewed some of the top women in their fields as well as hundreds of "new girls" to find out how to best navigate the working world. Hannah talks with Jean and shares advice about ways to land your first job and how to handle the pressure with ease:
- Write a list of things that interest you. "People are going to be good at the things they like to do," Hannah says.
- Reach out to people. Hannah says career counseling centers are a great place to start. "That's the beginning of cultivating your network and building a team and a group of mentors," she says.
- Before an interview, do your homework. Find out how long the last person was in the position, if there are opportunities for mentoring and what people really think about the company. In conducting your research, Hannah says to talk to past and present employees as well as to your interviewer.
- Negotiate for that first salary. Before accepting an offer, Hannah says to check online resources to see how much you're worth. Also, know that bosses expect you to negotiate. "It shows that if you can handle yourself with poise and firmness, they're going to see that you'll act that way with clients," she says.
- Don't take things personally. Hannah says it's important to develop a thick skin to handle the realities of the workplace. "The more women can learn not to personalize things, the better they're going to be at the job and the more energy they're going to have," she says.
- Learn to self-promote. "You have to self-promote because nobody's going to do it for you," Hannah says. Put yourself out there and stand by your accomplishments, she says.
- When you make a mistake, apologize, and then move on. "I think harping on it is the worst thing you can do," Hannah says.