The change from being a ‘Graduate’ may not seem like such a huge leap as lots of us simply continue on from the role we were doing and simply formalie it on paper. However, even that seemingly ‘non-change’ can still have impact how we work as we take a step up in responsibility and accountability…
These are the 3 things i learnt in my transition…
1. The most important person you lead is yourself.
You may not call the shots or have any direct reports, but that doesnt mean you arent a leader. Actually, you are in a brilliant position where you can concentrate on leading the most important person: yourself. Make sure you make yourself accountable, inspire yourself, and take your own time to reflect and track your learnings. This is what worked best for me, and helped me focus on my own development into the leader i want to be.
2. Communication is the most important thing never talked about
Personally not being so good at one-on-one conversation and confrontation, I began to recognise the importance of it in a professional environment and the need for me to develop it once i took on a bigger role. My biggest learning: If I expect people to be open and comfortable discussing things with me, I need to do the same in return.
2. Don’t follow a schedule, stick to an agenda
I have found sticking to an agenda rather than a schedule makes more efficient use of time. Instead of sticking to the schedule that a meeting needs to go for 1hr, stick to the agenda. Once I have covered the outcomes I needed and got the input I require the meeting is done, even if it only takes 10min. Once I complete the priority task on my list I move to the next. I understand the concept of scheduling yourself 1 hour to complete a report in order to push yourself to deliver, but 9 times out of 10 I find that if I give myself an hour, I take an hour, even if I could have achieved it in 30min. By setting an agenda for the day I make myself aware of what are the priorities and what needs to be achieved and I leave my time flexible to suit this demand.
3. Saying no to the wrong things is as important as saying yes to the right ones.
I learnt, after having a mini-breakdown from being overloaded, that just because I am invited to do something isn’t a good enough reason to do it. The most important thing I’ve learnt is to say ‘no’ when the answer was no.
I’ve realized some of the time I didn’t actually want to do what I was saying ‘yes’ too, but I said ‘Yes’ because I feel obliged, because “it’s a good opportunity”, because “I don’t want to let them down”… It feels counter-intuitive to say no to good opportunities, but i’ve learnt that if I don’t do it then I won’t have the space to figure out what I really want to invest my time in.
For those that have transitioned, what are the things you have learnt and would share with others?