“Tips to Leave a Lasting Impression”

April 4, 2014 | Jordan Finney

In February, NeW was partnering with America’s Future Foundation (AFF) to host a panel on Capitol Hill titled “How to Make a Lasting Impression Early in Your Career.” This event had to be postponed but we still wanted to share with you some expert advice from the panelists.

Below are two blog posts from AFF’s “Free the Future” blog.

Installment 1 is written by Sam Pfister. Read the full article here.

Practice your Values

  • Do the little things amazingly well. Make coffee and copies like it is your freaking job (it probably is). You’ll be beyond that stage soon.
  • Be honest with yourself and your boss. Admit when you’ve messed up, get your to-do list done, and set achievable goals.
  • Be humble. Don’t go blabbing that you spent two hours last night at home updating a spreadsheet. No one wants to hear that. Just get that sheet done and let your work speak for itself.

Be Organized

  • Try keeping a single bound notebook to help you keep track of notes and manage your to-do list.
  • For your to-do list, write down explicit and implicit tasks—some tasks are easy to pick up on, “Marsha, update this excel spreadsheet.” Others are not. For instance, you’re in a meeting and your boss says, “Jeez, this spreadsheet is outdated.” Volunteer yourself.
  • Be on time and turn in assignments early when possible. Time is money and money is precious to liberty non-profits around town.

Be Ambitious, but also Pragmatic

  • Don’t step on any toes. Instead of infringing on others’ responsibilities, ask folks whose job you’d like to have eventually if they need help.
  • Be innovative.  Take on new challenges and add value in all your tasks. Just admit when you need help, when you’re in over your head, or if you’ve messed up.
  • Find a mentor. Don’t be afraid to seek out individuals that you look up to for guidance.

Installment 2 is written by Kristine Esposo. Read the full article here

  1. Make friends…and not just with important people.Relationship building is a no brainer – this is Washington, DC, after all – but remember that every relationship is important. From your fellow junior colleagues to administrative and support staff, you’ll never know who will be able to help you in your career.

  2. Handwrite notes. In the world of tweets and Facebook posts, a handwritten note goes a long way and serves as a physical reminder of your extra effort.

  3. Dress for the part. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for your audience. Take this time in your career to invest in your work wardrobe. You’d be surprised how many people don’t wear a suit to a job interview.

  4. Put your phone and laptop away during meetings. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, show your colleagues/clients/whomever your meeting with that you respect them enough to have their undivided attention.

  5. Be on time. This applies to meetings, conference calls, events…everything! This was one of the more valuable pieces of advice I received from a former boss: “When you’re late, you’re saying your time is more valuable than mine.”


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