Congratulations, you just landed your first job.
But with remote work still going strong, it can be tough for young women to navigate the workplace and make a great first impression.
“We’re in a really weird time, because we’re on Zoom but we might be going back [to the office] soon,” Know Your Value founder and “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski recently said on NBC News NOW. “That’s a lot…especially for young people. This has been a really tough year. Understand you may feel some anxiety that you didn’t expect.”
Brzezinski, co-author of "Earn It! Know Your Value and Grow Your Career in your 20s and Beyond," gave NBC News NOW host Alison Morris her top tips for young women who are just entering the workforce:
1. Get your Zoom face on
Video conferencing isn’t going away anytime soon, so it’s important that you stay present and remain engaged when you’re on the screen.
“You never turn your video off,” said Brzezinski. “You never mute and do something else. You gotta be there for those Zooms…Show with your face, posture and eye contact how much you want to be there.”
2. Focus on your strengths
Brzezinski said young women should always ask themselves what they can bring to the table on a certain project. Then, communicate that effectively with your manager or boss.
“You want to show a real curiosity in lots jobs,” she said. “But you don’t want to get pigeonholed as that person where they throw everything at you, and you’re always that person who is doing everything -- but nothing well. It’s OK at the beginning of your career but in the middle of your career, you need to start defining yourself.”
3. Pay attention to the details
The little things matter.
“Even the simplest tasks, do them as well as you can,” said Brzezinski. “Do them perfectly if it’s a simple task.”
She added, “Showing you care even about the smallest things says a lot about the value you want to bring to the table.”
4. Build strong relationships at every level
You never know where someone at your company is going to end up. That’s why Brzezinski urged young women to meet people at every level at your company, even if they are in different roles.
“It’s hard, but you gotta start reaching out,” said Brzezinski. “As you build your respect in the workplace, your name, reach out to people and have coffee. Develop a support system.”
5. Don’t become “Chatty Cathy”
Yes, you want to connect with people. But you also shouldn’t gossip or come to the conversation with complaints or negativity.
“This is very negative, very dangerous territory. You want to conduct yourself in a way where you command respect first with the people around you,” advised Brzezinski. “You’re talking about the work. You’re interested in their background because you care as a person. You never want to gossip about other people.”