Everyone starts out as a junior employee, but not everyone remembers what that was like. When a junior employee is looking to move up and make a change, it can be difficult to assert ideas and confidence. After all, many more senior employees had to gain quite a bit of experience to move up and get their ideas implemented. But there are ways to do just that even as a junior employee.
Below, members of the Forbes Coaches Council give tips on how a junior employee can make a difference by standing out. These steps may seem small, but they can produce big ripples and move an employee forward and upward.
1. Get The Lay Of The Land
People resist change because they are concerned that the consequences will not be good for them. To influence or encourage change, it is important to understand who will be impacted and walk in their shoes so you can present ideas in a sensitive manner to the right people at the right time. Think about planting idea seeds. Build on positive reactions and don’t give up. Sometimes people just need to let the idea percolate. – Mitchell Shack, Centauric, LLC
2. Keep A Journal
Keep a journal, writing down great ideas you have after work. One of my top tips for junior employees is journaling great ideas on influence and change before offering them up. Not knowing who will appreciate your ideas, especially early in your career, can cause undue damage. Some may appreciate you for your ideas, and some who may seem like they do actually don’t. So listen, use your journal and strategize. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
3. Ask And Listen Before Diving In
A great way to successfully encourage change is to become genuinely interested in those you want to influence. A great way to do this is to ask them what they think is not working well within the organization. Getting people talking in this way will help you build rapport. Once you make others feel important, liked and accepted, they will be far more receptive to listening to what you have to say. – Alexandra Salamis, Integral Leadership Design
4. Build Your Credibility
Influence is about credibility. People will listen to ideas and be influenced more by thoughts and actions than by position. A junior employee can increase credibility by working with excellence and showing that they understand all components of the organization. Share ideas and don’t be upset when people don’t accept every idea that you share. – Ken Gosnell, CEO Experience
5. Demonstrate The Change You Want To See
When you do not have the years of experience behind you to generate credibility, a good way to gain influence is to demonstrate the benefits of what you know to be true, as opposed to just talking about what should be done. Beethoven demonstrated that you do not need to hear to write great music, and he influenced an audience to a standing ovation. – Grace Totoro, TransitionsByGrace. LLC
6. Forge Meaningful Relationships
Develop a segment on your calendar for mentoring. Pick three people a month and ask them for advice. Tell them you would like to pick their brain to find out what has made them successful. Ask them specifically about what they have learned and what some of their challenges or big wins have been. Make sure to follow up with these contacts, and thank them for their time and attention. Also, make the changes they suggest. Once you have made these changes into habits, share your progress with your contacts. They will see you taking their advice, and you will always be top of mind. Build and develop your network in all you do. – Stephynie Malik, ChiqueSpeak & TheStoicEQ, SMALIK Enterprises
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