Partner Sites

Logo BusinessBecause - The business school voice
mobile search icon

Self-Awareness At Work: How You Can Get Ahead

Find out how closing your self-awareness gap can help you get ahead at work and propel your career to the next step


Tue Feb 13 2024

There’s a lot to learn when you’re in your early career years. Whether you’re just in the door at your first job post-MBA or have a couple of years of experience under your belt, getting to grips with office etiquette can be almost as hard as learning how to do the job itself.

College life and the world of work are very different beasts, and when you are new at your job, it can be a minefield trying to figure out what to say, when to say it—and who to say it to.

The pandemic period was particularly tough for Gen Z employees. Many had to finish their college careers remotely before starting their first jobs without the benefit of being in the office. 

It is hardly surprising, then, that a 2022 Gallup survey found this generation is the most disengaged at work. Additionally, Gen Z workers say they have no close connection to their coworkers, manager, or employer.

Why being in the office matters

One of the key reasons that remote work doesn’t benefit early career workers is because there are many things about the world of work that are often subtly learned, and simply can’t be communicated over a video or phone call. 

Understanding how teams interact and what is the right way to talk to your manager are subtleties that are often best learned by observing others.

Additionally, reaping the benefits of inter-office conversations that can spark innovation, and just getting a feel for the informal and formal rules of your workplace are all things that help younger employees develop a holistic understanding of their jobs.

The absence of these rites of working passage can leave Gen Z at sea. 

When you don’t have that rounded experience, it’s easy to unwittingly make mistakes. You may not even realize some of your behaviors are holding you back. From not clearly understanding how to prioritize tasks, to ignoring feedback (or receiving it poorly), early career workers can also stymie themselves by not showing initiative or by displaying a negative attitude.

Another way you can trip yourself up is by not being self-aware. Increasingly, companies value soft skills in their employees, and because self-awareness is made up of several elements that include emotional awareness, self-reflection and self-perception, closing that gap leads to developing an essential soft skill that can help you to get ahead.

Emotional intelligence at work matters because once you understand yourself, you’re far better equipped to understand others. That means reading cues, being empathetic and understanding where people are coming from. 

Even as an early-stage worker, this is something you can be mindful of and work on. This will help you do a better job, improve your communication, and hopefully get noticed by your higher-ups.

If you’d like to begin your career at a company where your skills––both hard and soft––will be recognized, then check out the Business Because Job Board. It contains thousands of roles at companies all across the country, like the three below.

Intern, UBS, Dayton

UBS is seeking a motivated self-starter to become a part of the team. As an Intern, you will work with experts and learn about the industry, clients and the company, getting an opportunity to gain valuable insight, develop new skills, and establish a network of mentors and business contacts. 

You'll leave with a lot more than a job listing on your resume, and applying will require at least a 3.2 GPA, a balanced resume which includes solid academic performance and campus involvement, and a genuine interest in developing a career in wealth management. 

Find out more here.

Finance Intern, Glanbia Nutritionals, Twin Falls

Glanbia Nutritionals’ portfolio centers on dairy and non-dairy nutritional ingredients. This Finance Intern job is a full-time role designed to educate, stimulate, and develop future business leaders. 

During a 12-week, paid Glanbia Internship Program summer internship, you'll gain first-hand knowledge of this innovative industry, work on meaningful projects, and have opportunities to network with leaders throughout the organization. You’ll need to be currently enrolled in a finance, accounting, business, or related degree. 

Apply now.

Summer 2024 Intern - Treasury Capital Markets Intern, Salesforce, San Francisco

Salesforce is seeking a Cash Flow Intern for its Treasury department, which plays a central role in the finances of the company. You will be responsible for the completion of several exciting and challenging projects covering cash flow forecasting, including working on a payroll artificial intelligence forecasting project, updating the Salesforce org chart/entity structure for upper management. 

You should be a current sophomore/rising junior (graduation spring 2025) pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in economics, business, accounting, or equivalent work experience. 

See all the info you’ll need.

Explore the Business Because Job Board to find your dream role for 2024