There is a lot of advice out there about how to do your job well as you begin your professional career. I would like to add a couple pieces of advice we have learned from the experiences of Kemper Scholars.

Never ask to leave early because your work for the day is complete. The work day is the work day: it is the time you are being paid for. If you have finished your list of tasks, ask your boss or a colleague if they have work you could do to help them out. The positive reputation you get will be worth much more than the extra hour of free time.

Return missed phone calls and answer emails the same day. In your social life you may be used to texting rather than emailing. In the workplace email and telephoning remain the communication methods of choice in most places, especially when people need something quick. Make it a practice to respond to every one you receive each day before you leave the office. If you cannot respond with the information or do the task the person asked for, just tell them when you will get back to them. An immediate response will create a positive image of your responsiveness, organizational skills, and competence. And it is likely to get you a timely response when you need it.

Listen to the entire voice mail message and read the entire email message carefully. Nothing is more frustrating than sending an email with a request for three things and getting a response to only one of them. Take the time to note exactly what you are being asked for and produce it or explain why you cannot.

HOW you work is usually more important than what you produce.