So, you’re new to the shipping industry or its day one of your new job. How do you make a good impression and get a head start in your career?
The reality is that no sensible employer is going to expect you to know everything from the get go, but there are some things which you can do to help make you stand out from the crowd (in a good way).
Here are our top 10 tips to take to the office with you…
- The old saying is that half of all success is turning up, and it’s not wrong. Unless you turn up late of course! Time keeping is easy to get right and you should aim to be one of the first into the office, not one of the last.
- Dress like you mean business. Dressing right for the office nowadays can quite frankly be a bit of a minefield. Check before you start on what the office dress code is and if there’s any casual days such as ‘dress down Fridays’. Remember dress down think down.
- Shipping is a people business. Take time to introduce yourself and to get to know your new colleagues. Understand who does what and put effort into building your networks in shipping at social events and through the use of social media like LinkedIn.
- Be prepared! Show that whilst you might be new, you are still serious. Prepare for the working day the day before, read the information circulated before a meeting in advance and prepare questions and answers. Turn up to the meeting ready and prepared for business.
- Show some attitude! The world of commercial shipping can be tough and whilst you don’t need to be The Wolf of Wall Street you are going to need to show that you can remain positive and optimistic when things don’t go your way.
- In any new job at the start, you are going to need to put in some hard yards and some employers will use this as a test to see if you’ve got what it takes. Put in the extra effort and show that you are not afraid of hard work.
- Listen and learn! You might want to give a good impression and make a difference from the start but sometimes you just need to deliberately listen and learn. Shipping can be complex and there is a lot to learn.
- Go the extra mile! Good work often goes unnoticed and so doing that little bit more rather than the bare minimum increases your chances of recognition. Commercial shipping is rarely a 9 to 5 job and you may be expected to work late or put in extra hours entertaining customers.
- Understand what good looks like! If you don’t know what is expected of you, then how can you succeed? Whilst it is unlikely to be a day one conversation, you should establish from your employer what they expect of you in your early weeks and months in the job. This will give you something to aim for.
- A common thread amongst people who work in shipping is that they are passionate about the business and you need to be too. Show your passion and immerse yourself in the diverse and exciting global marketplace that is the shipping industry.
Remember that all businesses are different, both in the way they operate and their culture, and it will take you time to find your feet. Starting a new job can be a daunting time whether you’re a new graduate or an experienced executive, but it really needn’t be. The tips I’ve provided are tried and tested and in most cases simple to get right. Be passionate, listen, learn and most importantly enjoy yourself.