From knowing when to ask questions to setting stretch goals, Jennifer Bunting, LinkedIn’s Head of Product Marketing for EMEA & LATAM, gives new-starters three tactics to get ahead
1. Ask questions
It’s normal when you start any new job to feel like you don’t have enough information. As a result, most career advisors tout, “Don’t be afraid to ask questions!” Yet that’s easier said than done when you’re new to an industry. Here are a couple of techniques worth trying to help you gain confidence.
Learn the difference between critical questions and ones based on pure curiosity. Some questions are important to a project and you need clarification in order to perform a task. Ask these in the moment. Other questions are not urgent, but they will help your development. These can wait until you have time with your manager, mentor, or colleague. Keep a list of these so that you remember them when the time is right.
Don’t get frustrated or embarrassed if you don’t know technical jargon yet. Digital marketing is full of acronyms like CTR, ABM, and RFP. We all have had to learn these staples. Many terms and abbreviations can be Googled. But your new company will probably have a secret language of its own! Your colleagues can help learn these terms, so don’t feel nervous asking.
2. Set stretch goals
Every job in your career should stretch you in some way – especially your first job. Big goals will take time and effort to achieve. To gain momentum and ensure you’re on the right path, try setting small attainable goals that ladder up to something bigger.
An easy way to start is by creating a list of goals for your first 90-days. Discuss these with your manager to make sure they are important to the company. Your list can include hard skills (like learning SEO), tasks, and mastering soft skills (like prioritisation).
3. Create a network
Your first job won’t be your last. In the long-term, building a strong network allows you to increase access to potential mentors, advocates, and future employers. In the short-term, networking opens the door to new ideas.
Network within your company to learn more about what everyone does. Stretch yourself to attend industry events and webinars where you can meet other people and all stages of their careers.
You’re going to have many career milestones over the years. Whatever new chapter you’re starting, asking questions, setting stretch goals, and nurturing your network can help you grow and thrive.