Even as a graduate – a role in which you are expected to learn and grow – you can still face pressure in the job. Early on in my career the pressure I felt to resolve customer complaints and bypass failure was intense. It took an immense amount of courage and effort to overcome.
Although we want to challenge ourselves as graduates, there’s a line between too much and too little pressure that can be hard to balance. That’s why I’ve put together some advice for making the most of the beginning of your career and setting yourself up for success in the long run.
Find out what you want to do
After graduation, and even as I began career searching, I was still asking myself, “Am I doing what I want to do?”. It was only after I went through the Siemens Engineering Graduate Program (EGP) that I was able to position myself in the organisation and answer that question.
However, though being part of a great graduate program takes the frustration about developing that understanding, you can still answer that question through your own research, brainstorming and reflection.
Even if you haven’t developed your career goals, you likely have personal goals. Ask your mentor or supervisor about opportunities available in the company, or research some in the industry yourself, and then map them to a list of your personal goals. After finding out the list of most relevant opportunities, you can narrow them down by asking yourself which you find most important.
Build relationships with your customers
Even as a junior employee, you should be aware of the kind of impression you make with your customers – people remember much more than you think!
It’s especially important to be able to resolve crises for customers. There’s a Chinese idiom that says “A moment of crisis is also a moment of opportunity”, and it’s certainly the case here. Well-managed pressure can help you move closer to a target and inspire greater trust from a customer.
A good attitude also goes a long way to connecting with customers. Passion easily shines through, so being mindful, sincere and enthusiastic will encourage customers to open up to you about their issues, which in turn gives you the information you need to resolve them.
Perfect your work/life balance
If there’s one thing you should get right as a grad, it’s your work/life balance. You want to develop healthy habits while you’re young, but still take advantage of opportunities to push your career forward.
If you’ve built a career progression plan, you should have a good idea of your priorities. If not, take the time to work them out. There’s no need to live by a timetable, but even generally understanding the time needed to finish particular tasks is helpful to improving understanding of what you can get out of a day – try timing yourself.
How Siemens helps grads and junior employees grow
If you choose to facilitate your learning via an official graduate program, Siemen offers an EGP (Engineering Graduate Program) to fast-track junior employees to career success.
Our graduate program for engineers offers plans and sponsorships for on-job training, where you’ll get to work through three different assignments with different roles. You’ll get the opportunity to explore different facets of the engineering career, and learn what you want to specialise in.
Good support is the key to rapid career development. At Siemens, we’re proud of our enthusiastic learning culture. My first manager was a strong advocate of learning, and supported me and my colleagues all the way – and this was essential to building my enthusiasm for the career.
As a multinational company, your support at Siemens won’t just be your colleagues and direct managers, but the whole Siemens community, across the globe. Take advantage of the wide network at the company, and you’ll never be out of opportunities to continue learning.