Getting Started Remotely

My middle kid is about to graduate from college and is starting to look for a job. I suspect he won’t have too much trouble, as an aeronautical engineer near the top of his class, but I do think that it’s going to be more challenging to find employment than it was two years ago. Though likely better than last year.

While my employer has continued to hire people throughout the last year, we definitely know it’s been a challenge for some of them to get up to speed, build relationships, and get productive. It’s likely easier for technical people, especially for those with experience, but not necessarily easy for those just getting their careers going.

If you were starting your career now, I’m sure many of you would be better prepared than when you did begin. I’m wondering if there were things you might recommend to those getting started if they were doing your job. Tips, tricks, or habits to build?

I was listening to a few people recently talking about this topic, and they gave advice that I followed early on. Keep working on your skills, growing your knowledge and ability to be better in your field. If you’re a programmer, practice and learn more about how to better build systems. If you are on the admin side, be sure you are learning to script and manage with code, rather than GUI clicks. If you are in some other area, like marketing, learn to better analyze what you do and how to manipulate data.

No matter what, the one thing I always recommend to others is to learn to present an idea clearly to others. Communication, both written and spoken, is a prized skill, and one I find lacking in many people. Being able to present something in a coherent and cogent manner is important.

Along with that, I emphasize the other half of communication. Learn to listen well and process what others say. This is as important as being able to present your ideas, especially in today’s world where much of our communication occurs with fewer body language cues and less context.

Steve Jones

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