Entering the work of world full-time is much different than anything a new graduate has experienced in the past. You might expect that completing your college degree and doing several internships would have prepared you well for your first job. The problem is that working full-time is often very different than going to college and even different than spending a few months completing an interning at an organization because company expectations are often very different for new employees than what colleges expect or what company's expect from their interns.
You’ve spent hours working on your resume, completing your degree requirements, meeting with a career counselor at your college to help prepare for interviews; and now that you’ve landed your first job, you may now believe that the worst is over. The truth is once you start your job it’s only the beginning and you will need to do whatever’s necessary to find your niche and find ways that you can become successful.
Starting your first job is one of those major transitions that will happen in your life. First there’s graduating from high school and then college, each which has brought you to a new stage of development. Starting a first job is the next natural progression that usually precedes marriage, having a family, changing jobs until at some point when you will be planning for retirement.
As you begin your first job you are taking responsibility to the next level, and although you may feel ready you will most likely find that there’s a whole lot more you need to learn to get your started and to keep you moving in the right direction. Understandably if you take into consideration that you’ve been a student your whole life up to now, it may be somewhat challenging to identify what is expected in the workplace. Recognizing that the first year can be challenging can help you prepare yourself for using this time to your advantage by following a few tips that can make a huge difference as you begin navigating the early part of your career.
As a new person in the organization you will need to prove yourself from the very beginning. Understanding that there is a lot you don’t know, finding someone within the organization that is willing to help you navigate the waters is something you will want to consider. Beginning a career on a strong note will provide a good foundation for your entire career. In addition to having the knowledge and skills to do a good job, acknowledging the expectations of the organization and what you need to do to gain the respect of your managers and coworkers is often the most difficult part of any new position.
Below I’ve provided 6 strategies on how to become a success on your first job:
Each organization has it’s own culture and by learning what the culture is where you are working will take you a long ways into understanding more about the organization’s people and its mission. The first year on any job should be a time of observation. Trying to make a big splash too soon could get you into trouble. Understanding the companies expectations, policies and procedures, and ways people interact within the confines of the organization will give you a clue of what you need to do to fit in.
Even though you are new and have just graduated from college, your co-workers within the organization are observing to see your level of maturity and responsibility and your willingness to add something positive to the organization. They are putting you in close scrutiny to see if you have what it takes to be successful and to see if you have a good work ethic that will take you to the next level.
Many new graduates have pretty lofty expectations. Not only do they look to be accepted, they may also expect lavish praise for just meeting the company’s standards. Since employers have dealt with the expectations of new graduates before they may not be too sympathetic if you begin complaining about the job.
As a new employee, it is your job to find ways that you can successfully work together. This one takes exceptional people skills to accomplish. Taking the time to observe how your boss operates and his preferences when it comes to communication and work will move you a long way ahead of someone who focuses merely on the job. Be prepared to offer solutions when you come to your boss with a problem and before you know it he/she will come to respect you and feel comfortable giving you additional responsibility.
Maintaining a positive attitude is one of the greatest attributes you can have when starting a new job. Taking the time to learn what's expected on the job and staying positive even on the most challenging days will go a long way towards getting accepted by managers and co-workers.
Managers notice employees who take the initiative to learn all they can on the job and who ask for more work and added responsibilities. If you're not sure what your manager wants, make an appointment and go in with a list of questions.