Well, you’ve done it! You’ve landed your first job as a fresh college graduate. This is an exciting time, but don’t set yourself up for disappointment by expecting to land a job as a CEO right out of the gate. If history is any indicator, you’ll most likely have to start closer to the bottom than the top.
There’s nothing wrong with that. An entry-level job can be a great opportunity to learn and grow from if you make the most of the experience. Focus on these first-job tips and soon you’ll be on your way up the ladder.
Keep Your Eyes And Ears Open
To get ahead as a newbie, you need to pay close attention to the flow of information in your new workplace. Your most important job is to absorb as much information as you can as quickly as possible. Every time someone speaks you can learn something about what to do, or what not to do.
Forming early relationships with work colleagues you like and respect will help you along greatly in this process; but remember, being a good colleague is about giving as much as you get. Don’t be afraid to rely on the knowledge and opinions of others, especially at first; but be sure to start sharing your own thoughts as soon as you feel comfortable. It shows you are a fast learner who’s eager to be part of the team.
Learn To Network
Some people are natural networking pros. For others it is an acquired skill, but all experienced professionals know that networking with the right people in your industry opens doors for new opportunities. Start building your personal network right away, beginning with the mentors and peers you admire at your new job.
Remember, networking is a two-way street. As an entry level employee, you’ll probably be getting more than you are giving from the relationship, but that won’t always be the case. Successful professionals think about more than how others can help them, focusing instead on how people can help each other.
Many entry-level employees still aren’t sure exactly what they want to do professionally. Think of your first job as a barometer for your choices so far. Is this an industry where you can be happy? What type of work environment will you enjoy most?
You’re out of the classroom now, so if you want to succeed it’s also important to be brutally honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. What kind of skills will you need to develop in order to be the best in your field? Find honest answers to these questions and your star will rise quickly.
Naturally you want to take on the world, but it’s going to take time and training to develop your key professional skills. Be patient with yourself. Work hard, ask lots of questions and focus on learning something new every day. You won’t be on the bottom of the totem pole for long.
Ready to tackle your first job in your chosen field? Looking to make an upgrade to something a little more advanced? There are plenty of opportunities on the JumpStart job board at exciting companies across Northeast Ohio.