Set up pension and max contributions
Also, log into your pension and track it. Look at your payslip from time to time and make sure you’re actually paying the right taxes and being paid the right amount – mistakes happen and you’re the only one whose responsibility it is to find and correct them!
Network, network, network
Join initiatives where you think you can really make an impact. It doesn’t have to be huge, just something you maybe have ideas about or want to get involved with. It also doesn’t have to be in line with your main 9-5. This is how you truly network – collaborating with people who won’t necessarily wont be on your day-to-day teams and projects, i.e. always putting yourself out there.
Don’t be passive
You have the responsibility for you own career—it’s up to you to set up feedback meetings with your manager and to actively seek out development advice. And on that, always get the development advice!
Always seek out feedback on every single piece of work you do, whether that’s a tiny internal presentation you made or a huge client project you led. Seek out where you can improve and gracefully take that feedback on.
Give out what you get
In the same breath as the point above, learn how to give feedback and also get comfortable doing it!
Learning how to give feedback will set you up for much easier conversations and will allow you to add value to your managers lives by literally letting them know what they can improve on from a junior perspective.
They are probably only getting feedback from more senior management so your perspective will add such a huge value to their overall management experience. This could be as simple as highlighting where a situation maybe could have been improved, suggesting an improvement (important step) and also saying how that improvement is going to benefit either the team or the project long-term going forward.
Don’t be afraid of the bigdogs
Get to know senior leadership. I made the mistake of creating this seperation between me and senior people, thinking that they wouldn’t really benefit from even talking to me.
It turns out, no one really thought about this as much as I did.
I actively engage with senior leadership during socials and whenever I get the chance to speak to senior people, I talk about things outside of work and get to know them as people.
Try to leave a memorable conversation behind and help them get to know you and remember you. Breaking down this wall makes work easier for you—you have less anxiety—and when issues or opportunities do come up, you have already built a relationship with them to lean on. Again, like networking—just getting to know someone for who they are and not for what they could potentially do for you!