As an intern, I find myself building a vast community of people who I can ask questions and possibly help in the future. However, it is difficult sometimes to see the real time contributions I am making to the organization. What advice do you have for interns/new hires for making meaningful contributions to their work place?
Ask your supervisor for a project to tackle, problem to solve, or skill to build. If your team can pay an internal lower level employee for these projects instead of an expensive outside consultant it benefits the whole organization. On my teams, we encourage our entry level analysts to choose 1-2 skills to develop that will make them more valuable to the company. We also look for people willing to do business development work, like creating informational dashboards and doing upper-level admin work. It all helps the projects flow smoother
Let me add - have you put together a 30 60 90 plan when you 1st obtained the position so you have already a focus for your position
Thanks for your service and your very insightful question. As a new hire, you are to be commended for seeking advice on how to add value to your organization. The answer to your question actually begins with your own professional development and career goals, and culminates in how to link those to achieve organizational goals.
It is important for employers to support a clearly defined professional development plan and career path for their Veteran employees. Veterans understand the clearly defined career path in the military, but then enter the civilian workforce only to find there is no laid out path to advance in their careers. Your supervisor should help you generate a professional development plan that establishes SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) so you can translate your efforts into results that in turn translate into contributions for your organization.
If your company’s processes do not include a professional development plan for each employee and clearly defined career paths for each position, then that’s OK – you can create your own. I recommend you identify a mentor in your career field or familiar with your organization who is willing to help you do that.
Having this plan and path in place will obviously help you in your current job – assuming you execute the plan / achieve the goals laid out to help you advance – and help you see more tangible results through your contributions to your organization.
I hope this helps. Thanks again and good luck!
I agree with Heather. Showing initiative and a willingness to learn is greatly appreciated and valued by supervisors and team members.
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