Keeping It Professional

what to do as a young person at an entry-level job in a post-covid world

It’s an understatement to say that Covid-19 reeked havoc on what people knew as the workplace environment. People all over the world were out of a job or forced to work within the confines of their own desktop computer screens. In our opinion, one of the more prominent outcomes from the pandemic is the lack of professionalism in the workplace. This is not to say that professionalism is dead. We are drawing attention to how accustomed people have gotten to the comfortable and lax nature of working and learning from home.

The comfort that we are bringing to light has left the brand-new members of the work force with the ability to become personal with others on a whole new level, but it has also created a language barrier between them and older generations. Recent high school and college graduates spent two years opperating soley on a digital landscape with limited rules on how to communicate professionally. What they see as a transparent and relaxed way of communication can look out of line and unprofessional to those who have been part of the professional world for years.

The post-covid world has left young people with two tasks: learn to leave the comfort of quarantine behind to work in person and learn to communicate professionally with intergenerational coworkers. And we want to help. Listed below are our top what-to-do’s for young people looking to enter the professional landscape like they have been there for years.

Learn to Fail

Failing at something can be the worst feeling especially when it happens at work. Maybe you missed a deadline or forgot to send a paramount e-mail. It’s important to keep in mind that, most times, how you react to failure matters more than the failure itself. Address your mistake and apologize for it. Be honest about what happened before ensuring that it won’t happen again. Understand that the purpose of failing is to learn from your mistakes and grow into the best version of yourself.

You want to make sure that your coworkers along with your boss know that you’re a reliable member of the team. You might be a newcomer, but you deserve to be there and are allowed to fail once in a while. All you have to do is dust yourself off, be professional, and move forward with the situation in the past.

Never use “Slay Queen” in Your E-mail Signature

Written communication is one of the bigger hurdles to get over for the generational gap. With new technology constantly changing, text trends have moved towards LOL’s, emojis, and meme responses and away from more traditional formatting. Make sure to refrain from using new-age colloquialisms in emails and possibly texts to your coworkers. A joke or two is fine but you want to keep it straight-forward and simple.

Try using the same formal email format every time. Creating an automatic email signature with your company, job title, and contact information is also a great idea. You can do this easily by heading over to your email settings. You might become well-versed in the art of e-mailing on the way, which is a priceless skill in the professional world even if it seems archaic.

Create a Realistic Work/Life Balance

It’s a great idea to show initiative by dedicating time to your job, but there is a limit and pushing yourself too hard will not end well. You might burn out quicker than expected or even develop resentment towards your job. Creating a healthy balance between work and home will help you live both lives without problems forming.

Loading on too much work can over-stress you or put a toll on your personal relationships. You are a human being at the end of the day, so communicating your situation to your boss or supervisor can’t hurt. At the end of the day, you should keep up your gung-ho work ethic but also instate healthy boundaries that might involve saying no once in a while.

On the flip side, make sure to apply yourself enough at work. Don’t be shy about your ideas or how you can help in a particular project. Being bashful can be mistaken as idea-barren and it might make you seem like you don’t bring anything to the table. Speak up and share your ideas or ask questions.

Perfect Your Time-Management Skills

Working via video-chat put a pin in the entire time-management department. Getting dressed for work, packing your lunch, and planning transportation was replaced with meetings in sweatpants from bed. While sweatpants and sleeping in will always be two of life’s greatest pleasures, they will clash with any professional atmosphere. You must learn how to responsibly plan ahead in order to show up on time, which is a big deal. Always show up on time or early. Moseying into the office a few minutes late might not seem like a big deal, but it looks very unprofessional to your coworkers.

Being aware of the relationship between your tasks for the day and how much time you have to do them will keep you up to speed at work. You can work on your time-management skills by getting a planner. You can get them at Staples or Target or basically any other store you can think of and they work wonders. Planners can be used to remind you of important affairs, but they can also help you be more productive on a day-today by giving you a better handle on how to use your time.

Good luck as you enter the workforce. We hope our article gave you some confidence on your way.

Visit our website for more information like this, and reach out to our financial aid and college affordability experts at 610-422-3530 to start your college planning journey today.


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