For 2022 graduates, tips for the best job market in years

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I find it difficult to advise today’s graduates on how to be successful in the workplace. After two years of navigating the virtual school, they know how to connect, adapt and endure. Many of them have cut their teeth on the concepts of mental health, social awareness and emotional intelligence, so they are naturally inclined to seek balance and fairness in their personal and professional lives.

The typical advice to help them succeed in the workplace — show up early, stay late, dress well, hook up the water cooler — falls flat in the age of remote workplaces.

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And they’re entering the most employee-friendly job market in decades. Candidates tell employers what they’re looking for, and smart employers are listening like never before. It is a powerful position.

But you know the adage about great power and responsibility. If you tell employers what you need to succeed, they need to see you succeed. You’re right to demand that your work and time be valued, but you also need to show the value you bring. Here are timeless tips on how to do it.

Whether you’re hired in an onsite, remote, or hybrid workplace, being strategically present is always there, but developing that strategy can take some time.

In the office or on Zoom, be on time at the latest, especially for online meetings where the clock is right in front of everyone’s face.

You probably have more reserves of time and energy now than you will in years to come. Be as generous with them as possible to those who need it and appreciate it.

When you need to ask for help with a work task, be prepared to show how you tried to figure it out yourself first.

Learn your employer’s dress code, then err on the side of caution until you’re sure you can safely relax your standards.

Office fashion craze: Comfortable, supportive dress shoes.

Remote Fashion Madness: Adjustable full spectrum ring light.

Politeness is the minimum; the heat is a bonus; usability, if you can muster it, is gold plated.

Spend your trust wisely, especially when you’re new. Some colleagues are super nice, until they’re not. Some are great confidants, until they’re not. Some invite you to attach your star to their cart, then the wheels come off.

Although socializing in person is more difficult than in the Before Times, texting and instant messaging make it easier to bond with colleagues through articles, memes and jokes that only take a moment to send and enjoy – or destroy your reputation. If you have to ask, “Is it okay to send?” – it’s not.

Working tips: Worried about meeting new colleagues in a fully remote job? Here are a few tips.

You know what’s best after being well informed? To be curious. The hack to look smarter? Ask questions and ask for opinions.

What if you are genuinely, objectively knowledgeable and intelligent? Remember that progress humbles each of us over time.

In the late 1990s, I gently and patiently nudged senior colleagues away from text-based DOS terminals and graphically-based Windows operating systems, wondering why they resisted changes that would make their jobs easier. Now, I often have my hand held (figuratively) by colleagues who are half my age (literally) as they kindly and patiently help me abandon the familiar and the functional for the elegant and modern. ‘intelligent.

Additional Credit: Virtual Meetings

Even if you don’t have a Room Rater-worthy home office, you probably know all about video meeting etiquette from the past couple of years. But please me:

Even if you just got out of bed or came back from the gym, you shouldn’t watch it.

No picking, shearing, grooming or chewing while the camera is on.

Protect your bubble. The occasional disturbance will be forgiven, but few have the patience to bark without limit, whatever the adorable source.

In the minutes before a meeting starts, check your posture and your background to make sure the image you’re projecting matches the image you want people to have of you.

The workplace you enter is not your parents’ workplace, and success takes many forms. But there are still a few principles you can hold on to: Respect people’s time, do your best, and try to be the kind of coworker that makes the work experience more enjoyable.

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About Dwayne Wakefield

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