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Work Experience – The Call of Confidence

My work experience has drawn out the confidence in me.

Your first work experience could be daunting, no matter how prepared you think you are. Many of us find it difficult to be confident and make the best of the work experience opportunity. Despite having experiences in the marketing field and academic knowledge in communications and PR, I still found my first day at Target quite nerve-wracking but also exciting.

Being an international Master’s student, I’m fully aware of my disadvantages such as my exotic use of English and cultural differences. Therefore, I hesitated in everything I did and constantly worried whether I had made any mistakes. This severely slowed down my working pace and made me hesitant in grasping practice opportunities. However, my lovely supervisor Vicky and the team have been a great help to me, and I could get back on track straight away. So, after two weeks of working with the team, I’d like to share my four tips to boost your confidence in a new workplace and get the most out of your working experience opportunity.

 

  1. Research is the golden compass

Research is not always the fun part, but it is for sure our best friend. Doing research prepares us for any action or decision-making moment, and preparation lessens the uncertainty. Research thoroughly and you will find your confidence quickly grows. Even if it is a familiar topic, double-check to make sure that you have got the right idea. This is the most valuable lesson I have learned from Target. Here we always start with careful research whether on a new client, target audiences or the media.

 

  1. We’ll be there for you

When I am unsure of what I am doing, I ask. Having years of experience, Target team members effortlessly responded to my queries with comprehensible guidance, valuable feedback or helpful instruction. I love Target even more because the team makes the workplace feel like a warm home, a safe space where I can comfortably communicate, raise my questions or ideas, and where I am listened to and supported. They constantly guide me through a variety of tasks and reassure me that the team is there to walk me through my first steps on this career ladder.

Even if you are not in a perfect workplace where internal communication is strong and two-way, don’t be afraid of asking questions. Asking is the privilege we have as a learner.

 

  1. Proof-reading is the best guardian

Uncertainty is not always bad when it spurs us on to scrutinise our work again or have someone double-check it. PR practitioners write every day, and it is unavoidable that we make errors while writing. So, proof-reading comes into play as a powerful guardian. The more carefully I proof-read my work, the more I am certain about it. Vicky also helped check my writing and showed me what to improve, which positively encouraged me to be bolder.

 

  1. Keep calm and have a cuppa

Many kinds of tea such as chamomile, black and green tea are scientifically proven to relax nerves and keep us calm. So, make a cuppa tea, take a deep breath and approach your work experience positively. If it’s anything like my experience, you won’t regret a thing.

 

Suzanne Luong

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