Want to be taken seriously? Do this.

Have a great memory? Take notes anyway! You can stop taking notes when you’re the top boss and you hire someone to do it for you. In the meantime, taking notes tells your boss and colleagues you mean business.

take notes if you want to be taken seriouslyTake notes at work:

  1. to avoid asking the same question twice. Review your notes. We always notice a repeated question or forgotten advice. Always!
  2. in an electronic format so that your notes can be used for any necessary follow-up, as part of documentation for future training you may be asked to do if promoted, or so you can search them by keyword at a later date.
  3. so you can answer questions about the material 3 months later without annoying a coworker or your boss.
  4. so that your boss doesn’t need to. Whenever you can, free your boss up to be more in the moment by handling a task like note-taking. You want your boss to rely on you, to feel that you are taking care of him/her.
  5. to demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to the job and company.
  6. to show that you value the person you’re meeting with and the time they’re giving you.
  7. to provide proof if your word or memory is ever questioned.
  8. to separate yourself from the pack – you’ll shine if you keep in mind that your boss is watching you and asking himself “What am I going to have left when you’re gone?”. So leave your mark! Answer this question proactively and you’ll find yourself getting promoted.

the meeting minutes

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For comprehensive advice on the entire job search process, read our complete guide to landing a job at a great company or visit our career advice hub.

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  • There is a lot of truth behind what this article has to say. I work for a Brake corporation as a Co-Op for 6-7 months out of the year. I am currently a student at Kettering university studying Chemical engineering.

    Note taking is one of the most crucial parts of my job. When my boss has something that he needs to be done Having notes on what exactly he wants or the customer requires is of the utmost importance.

    About 2 weeks into my Co-Op I was brought into a meeting about a new process for making brake pads. This was the first time taking notes really saved me. In the meeting I wrote down all the data analyzation that would need to be done, where all the files with raw unprocessed data were located, where to find and how to make the prototype brake pads, and had taken note that this report had gone through 4 other people without being finished because of its massive amount of unanalyzed raw data. Turns out this report was my new responsibility!

    I had a lot of work to do! So the first step was to get everything organized to take the report out piece by piece. This had taken about 2 weeks to get everything in the right format and in one spot. I worked a lot of hours on that report.

    A step which could be added to this article and really should be is that you should always read up on your emails taking notes on them to update any other notes you may have. The reason why this is so important is that you may read something in an email and not recognize its importance right away.

    While I was in the middle of working on the process report I was included on an email thread that happened to mention our Global headquarters was interested in this process. The email noted that one of the heads had taken a special interest in the process. So I added this to my own notes about the report.

    Noticing that note, I set my other projects aside and worked solely on that report and had it finished in about a month. Next thing you know the Global Headquarters wanted the report immediately! If i had not taken note that there was some interest on the process I wouldn’t have been done with the report in a month. This means I would’ve been blamed for the late report! Fortunately I had it ready to be signed and sent off just a few days before the request by the Global Headquarters.

    So note taking really led to me keeping my job and impressing others on my quality and quickness of work. I highly suggest if you don’t take notes often to Immediately start!

    Also, If you are a college student and are not Co-Oping or interning, You need to get started so you can learn these crucial parts of being a good employee early and head a jump up on your job competition. You simply do not learn these things in school. Work experience is valued for a serious reason! Do not fall into the trap of waiting til you graduate to start learning about the real working world!

  • Taking notes is something that goes underrated in the work force. It seems almost as if people decide that once they leave college, their days of research are over, which only hurts them, especially when it comes to a riskier job. I worked for a time with in home health services, taking care of in home patients, and each of them had their own specifications and needs.

    Taking notes had even protected someone; while training, we worked in the home of an older woman with Alzheimer’s. I had to take note of all of her dietary needs, numbers, and where the keys to the power grid and basement were. In addition, I took note of her behavior while my coworker explained things to me, and later on recognized the signs of her about to have a fit. If I hadn’t noticed her body language, my coworker and I wouldn’t have been able to keep her from wandering outside onto the icy roads.

  • I interned at an industrial furniture company called Cleveland Art for my senior internship in high school. The only problem was that I didn’t work in a comfy office, I worked at their weld shop surrounded by big, buff men. I was one of the only girls that was working there. Since I couldn’t take physical notes, I made sure to take plenty of mental ones. This included my surroundings and how to work the equipment as well as the different techniques used to finish a product. I took my job twice as seriously as the other interns being that I was a female working in a man’s work shop. I wanted to be taken seriously.

    Because I avoided asking the same questions, confidently knew my stuff, demonstrated my professionalism, and separated myself from the pack like the article said, my boss and male coworkers constantly mentioned to me that I was the best intern they ever had. I was eventually the only intern offered a full-time job during the summer and winter break into my freshman year of college. Even now, I still keep in touch with my boss because after finishing my first year of college, my boss has told me that he would like me to come back and work for him again during the summer. This article is definitely spot-on about taking notes at work and I would recommend everyone to heed all of the advice said.

  • I used to come home from school with graphite smeared all over the heel of my hand. My third finger had a permanent lump at the first knuckle from where my pencil rested as I scribbled. I took the most detailed notes out of anyone I knew. I was a scrawny kid with glasses who fulfilled the nerdy stereotype and who was laughed at more than once for this habit, but I’m glad I didn’t let it get to me. It didn’t bother any of my bosses after high school either.

    I believe school is more like any job than most people tend to think.

    Having a job, keeping and succeeding in it, is very similar to being a successful student. At some point during my high school years, my notes served 20 other students from my class, and when word got to the principal, I was sure I was in trouble. Instead, she encouraged the note sharing business.

    It came to a point that my parents had a special budget for copy paper. People got to know me through my notes. They wanted to hang out at first in order to get good grades, but as soon as they got to know me, I became part of a group. For me, a scrawny kid with glasses who fulfilled the nerdy stereotype, it was a blessing. Taking notes showed everyone I was proactive about my studies, and encouraged the quality in others. Taking notes is not just about showing your boss you mean business, but showing your coworkers you mean business.

  • When I first came into the professional world some years ago I completely underestimated the importance of notes. I had a rough start because there were little things that I had let fall through the cracks simply because I was not writing enough things down. I had to come to the realization that I’m a human and will forget things, therefore to play things safe must keep diligent and well organized notes.

  • I have taken notes in school and at work for as long as I can remember. In class, there is so much to learn in so little time that it is near impossible to remember everything. I take notes by hand so I can retain the information in three different forms: hearing it from the professor, writing it down, and reviewing what I have written while studying. I find that each and every time I do this, my grades have been considerably better than my friends who sit around in class and don’t take notes.

    I have had three different jobs during my high school/college career and every time I started training, there were several procedures each company expected their employees to complete. These include the process of selling, cashier duty, and closing up shop at the end of the day. On my first day of training I always write down each step that I am taught so I can retain the information and review it if I forget how to do something. Taking notes has never failed me before, so I am determined to take notes in the workplace when I have my first real job.

  • i have to say weather it’s 9on the job in school or at home taking notes is must in today society to keep up. some time’s it’s the little things that make all the difference. 🙂

  • This article serves as a great reminder to myself of the persistence I had to muster to achieve my childhood dream of playing collegiate football. During my senior year of high school, I still hadn’t received any scholarship offers to play football while pursuing a college education, so I took it upon myself to reach out to coaches at colleges and universities that offered a great education as well as the possibility to play college football for the school. I needed to take notes on what coaches I had already emailed and called as well as what was discussed in those emails and phone calls. Without those notes, I’d be asking the same questions and discussing the same topics which would portray that I wasn’t interested enough to remember what was said during the previous conversation.

    As I began to narrow down schools of interest and started to take visits to these schools, I had to start writing down my thoughts on each school to avoid confusion when trying to make a decision on schools. Thanks to my extensive notes, I could look over every phone call, email and notes from visits to truly evaluate a school and what they offered to me in terms of a quality education and the chance to play collegiate football. Then, as I came to a decision on what school I’d attend, I could reassure myself that I had looked over and analyzed and interpreted all of the notes and information from phone calls, emails and campus visits to make a sound decision on my future.

    Its been officially a year and a month since I made that decision, and I couldn’t be happier. The satisfaction in that my notes were so detailed and extensive allowed me to rest easy in the fact that I took in all of the information and made the best decision for myself and my future goals. If you’re serious about what you want, you’ll take notes so that you don’t forget any information. Take notes because you never what opportunities lie ahead in life, so it is best to prepare. Take notes!

  • I worked at a law office a few months ago and there were many times where I had to sit in at meetings to take notes for the lawyer. There were numerous times where my notes came in handy for him. There was once a client of his who was discussing the terms for his will and testament. The client was throwing around a bunch of names that were to be added to the will and gain certain rights and responsibilities after his death. The lawyer actually got frustrated because he could not keep the names straight in his head. He had to refer to me many times during and after the meeting to make sure he was getting the correct information down in the will. If it was not for my note taking in the session, who knows how that document could have turned out.

  • This article seems to teach that the note taking you learn to do so diligently in school is just as useful in the work place. Thus, it is best to pick up on what people say and note it down because it is unlikely you will remember after too long. It will also make you stand out to your boss more because you are dedicated to your job and won’t have to bother them for things that have already been discussed.

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