Career 101 – Pro Tips

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There are some things that I was told before starting a job that not everyone has the privilege of hearing. With that in mind I wanted to compile a list of pro-tips that can be essential to a successful career in ANY job. Some may be job-specific but I’ll try to give you the essentials in a way that can be applicable in all roles.

In-person or Remote

  • Avoid yawning in clear view of your peers and manager
  • Be attentive at all times when interacting with coworkers.
  • Make sure to RSVP to meetings; peers need to know whether you can make it to a meeting or not
  • Keep your email inbox clean and dedicate part of your day to read email updates
  • In meetings, make sure to ask at least one question or if not applicable try to engage in some way
  • Proper work attire (ask your company for the dress code or look it up in the employee handbook)
  • Seek out career development workshops, mentors/coaches to continue bettering yourself and your skill set
  • Understand your benefits and take advantage of them
    • Insurances: Medical, Dental, Vision,
    • 401(k) if applicable
    • etc.
  • Network with coworkers, ask them about their life, aspirations, history. Also with people beyond your team
  • If someone helps you with something, make it a purpose to send them a small note of appreciation for it. “Hey, thanks for spending the time the other day to help me with X, Y, and/or Z.” It’s a small token of appreciation that can leave a good impression on people

Remote

  • Make sure you show as “online” on the instant messaging application your company uses
    • If you’re not in-person, this “online” status is the best way to be visible. Along with this, make sure to respond in a timely fashion. It doesn’t have to be <1 minute response time but max <15 minutes for immediate peers that work with you each day

In-person

  • Spend some time of the day without headphones to show that you are approachable
  • Try to walk around the office without headphones or your phone visible. (approachability bonus)
  • Try to not drag your feet so you show you are enthusiastic about being at work

Undocumented Specific

  • HR usually doesn’t share your work authorization information unless needed
    • In an example, DACA work authorization was only disclosed to someone’s manager when their DACA unfortunately expired before the new card was received
  • See if your employer sponsors people (H-1B) and see if it applies to you. It could be a pathway to citizenship depending on your case (seek legal counsel)
  • Let other undoc-folks know about work opportunities. For example, if a company is hiring and you know it is DACA-friendly (or not), or they offer stipend jobs, cash jobs, etc. Pay it forward
About the Author
Oscar Romero
I have had DACA since early 2013. I am currently a Software Engineer at Red Ventures. I went to college at UNC Charlotte and graduated in 2017 with a BA in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Engineering. I went to high school in a small town out in eastern North Carolina. My parents brought me to the United States in 1999 when I was 3 years old. I grew up in NC and aspired to make something worthwhile out of my parent’s hard work and sacrifice.