City Personnel Blog

Recent Grads: How to be a Highly Successful Employee

May 30, 2019
As a recent grad, you may be ready to jump in head first into the workforce. While ambition is a highly sought after attribute, there are a few other key traits that they don't teach you in college. This information is especially critical for new graduates, but the lessons are applicable no matter where you are in your career journey. Read our blog to learn the secrets of high performers to set yourself apart from the average employee.
Tips for Job SeekersRecent Grads: How to be a Highly Successful Employee

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

–John D. Rockefeller

Congrats, you’ve graduated! But now what? You may have a degree in your career field, but being good at your job is something they don’t teach you at school. Technical skills are important because organizations need people with specific skills to get the job done, but what about “soft skills”? Adaptability, accountability, positivity, and communication are needed to become a high performing employee.

Knowing the secrets of high performers will help you become irreplaceable, promotion-ready and raise-worthy.


1. Always put your hand up.

Being a team player who takes on more than the job description is key to being a great employee and showing value. When your boss asks for help, raise your hand to take on the extra challenge. Standout employees always take on additional projects.


2. Be proactive.

Better yet, don’t wait to be asked. Be motivated to seek out challenges, propose ideas or ask your manager to take something off their plate. The best employees are not passive, they take initiative and run with things.


3. Bring solutions, not just problems.

Problems and challenges will come up in every job. It’s inevitable. The best employees do not just bring the problems forward to their boss and let them deal with it- they come with solutions. While you may not always have the perfect answer, help your boss by showing that you’ve thought through some possible options.


4. Be adaptable.

Circumstances change all the time. The best employees are able to modify their expectations and adapt to new situations. While it may be uncomfortable, top performers know that it is inevitable and strive to be flexible. This is especially true in the social impact sector.


5. Never stop learning.

The best employees know they don’t know everything and strive to continue to learn. Top performers still make mistakes, but what defines a top performer is that they learn from it.


6. Make your own development plan.

Top performers make their own development plans, they do not wait for their manager to create something for them- because often that doesn’t happen. Chart your own path for growth and bring forward your goals to your manager. It’s important that you understand that while your organization wants to see you succeed, it’s still an organization with its own goals.


7. Don’t expect a promotion. Earn one.

Everyone is not entitled to a promotion after a year. Promotions are earned when you show sustained great work.