A new job is one of life’s most exciting and terrifying things. The prospect of excelling and finding your niche is there, but there’s also the potential of falling flat on your face. While bosses and work environments vary, one aspect most employers look for in a new employee are great time-management skills. Employers value efficiency and hard work, two qualities that good time-management strongly exudes.
Recent college graduates may even be at an advantage for showcasing time-management skills, as they’re fresh out of juggling schoolwork from various courses along with other obligations and likely a part-time job as well. In essence, it shouldn’t take them long to shake off any time-management rust. Here are some tips for those who are looking to fully showcase and hone their time-management skills and really impress their new employers.
There’s no such thing as a stupid question when learning how to do your job. Good time management is very difficult without elaboration from your superior. You’re better off asking any questions you have about your role early on, as doing so later will show a lack of initiative.
Early questioning will simply show your willingness to do your job well both now and later. Specifically, talk to your boss about how to best use your time – which duties are more important or immediate and how to allocate your time accordingly. This can serve as a great way to organize initial tasks. Many employees have a variety of tasks and duties, but typically there are certain tasks the company values more. This should be your focus in any spare time.
On the weekend or the start of every week, organize your weekly work schedule and prioritize the most important tasks, as discovered in the previous tip. You could do a phenomenal job on one task, but if you neglect another your boss prioritizes, then they’ll just view it as a negative. As a result, it’s pivotal to free up as much time as you can so you can focus on the important tasks and get them done in a timely manner.
Getting the most out of each workday and having a work breakdown structure on hand is a major step in showcasing excellent time management skills to your employer and improving general productivity. Additionally, establishing an implementation intention is a useful way to very specifically designate what the task is, when it will be accomplished and what’s expected from the final result.
Many have the misconception that asking for help with deliverables shows you as weak and incapable. Rather, embracing collaboration is a great way to form office bonds and organize your schedule so the important tasks are prioritized.
For instance, asking your boss or a co-worker to aid in one task so you can focus on a more important one that calls for your expertise shows you care about the “bottom line,” as opposed to the self-minded route of showing everyone you can do it on your own. Employers care more about the bottom line than personal flexing, so collaboration should never be disregarded as being for weaklings.
It’s generally good practice for new employees to at least start out by going above and beyond with their hours. This doesn’t mean staying for hours extra on end, but tacking on 20-30 minutes before and after your designated check-in and check-out times shows initiative and allows you to more easily plan your weekly work schedule. The extra hour or so at work today may feel draining, but know the long-term effects on your image can result in a promotion down the line.
It’s highly unlikely any employee in the history of business has done everything without fault. Everyone’s going to make mistakes and errors in judgment at one point, so when that happens it’s best to accept responsibility and learn from it for the future.
Similarly, asking your coworkers or boss a question like, “Is there anything you think I can improve on?” It shows self-accountability and a willingness to improve. Plus, it demonstrates a lack of insecurity, which plays well in the business world.
Accessible practices to showcase great time-management skills include clear communication between you and your boss/coworkers, weekly schedule organization, putting in an extra 30-60 minutes at a new job for the first couple months, active collaboration and seeking out useful criticism. All of these contribute to demonstrating a new employee who wants to excel at their new position, all while embracing the business’ bottom-line goals and avoiding any bouts of visual insecurity.
Kayla Matthews is a personal development enthusiast and productivity blogger. In addition to writing for the Noomii, Kayla also writes for The Daily Muse, The Chicago Tribune and The Huffington Post.