1. Keep a pen and notepad with you at all times. You never know when someone will give you something to do.
2. If you’re stuck on something, give it a decent attempt. If you’re still struggling, note down your questions precisely as well as what you’ve already tried so you don’t have to keep pestering people.
3. Note down the names of people you’ve met eg Harry Potter and a memorable trait eg. lightning bolt scar. You don’t want to go through the awkward ‘erm what’s your name again’ conversation.
4. Respond to emails quickly. Often people are waiting for your response before they can move forward. Don’t keep them waiting too long.
5. Put your email sign off eg. Kind regards in your email signature. You will get tired of typing it.
6. Constantly inform people what you are doing. They like reassurance that you haven’t forgotten about their work. In fact you shouldn’t be alarmed if you spend more time informing people of this than actually working.
7. Always make a note of where you found any facts and figures. You will cry if they ask you to find it later and you’ve forgotten.
8. Implement checks in your work wherever possible. This will prevent follow through mistakes which are annoying to fix.
9. Say ‘yes’ to any work given to as long as you have enough time to do it… and even if you don’t. You’ll be surprised how much you can reshuffle to make time.
10. Make a comprehensive list of your tasks and how long you think they’ll take. But also keep a Post-It of immediate tasks in your direct eye line so you are constantly aware of what needs to be done.
11. People care a lot about the appearance of documents so make it look pretty. I got commended in my final review for adjusting the line spacing so that everything fit neatly onto one page. Such a minor detail and it got noticed. Thank you OCD.
12. Ask people questions. It makes them feel knowledgeable so do so even if you know the answer. If you’re feeling brave, subtly mention the answer and they’ll think you’re clever.
13. Facebook stalk other people in the office and find out what they’re interested in. You’ll find it easier to talk to them.
14. If you can think of a better way of doing something, discuss it with the person who gave you the job. DON’T just jump into it. Some people are surprisingly touchy if you drift even a little from their instructions.
15. Wherever possible, get feedback on any work you’ve done. It’s a good way to learn and get more work as well building a rapport through the correspondence.
16. If you have the option to speak to someone rather than email them about something important, speak to them. Things are far less ambiguous when you talk directly.
17. Take regular breaks and stretch your legs. It’s good for your concentration. This doesn’t mean you’re wasting your time. Do the coffee round or plan your lunch and meetings in such a way that you’re not at your desk for hours and hours.
18. Food is the best way to butter up your colleagues. Cake always goes down a treat, especially if it’s homemade.
19. Do not let people get away with giving vague instructions. Pester them if you have to. It will save you a lot of time in the long run.
20. It’s always better to ask for help than to struggle in vain.
Over and Out!