by Kathy Sweeney, NCRW, CPRW, CEIC, CCM
Welcome to life. As commencement
speeches fade into the past and student loan payments begin
to loom, freshly graduated young professionals may be finding
a sense of disillusionment starting to settle. Graduation
is past, the first job has been landed (or is being furiously
pursued) and now a whole new learning curve presents itself-
the world of the professional.
New workers take heart and
know that a period of adjustment is to be expected. There
will be good and bad things about a new job and life after
college. Co-workers may be likable, but the pay may be low.
Or the pay may be nice, but the physical work environment
may be less than attractive.
Or the environment and the
pay are fine, but the supervisor is not very cordial. A job
that has no down sides is rare, so it is imperative to concentrate
on the positives and try not to dwell on the negatives.
With a new job, some time
for adjustment should be allowed. While the formal education
is completed, the most valuable learning is just beginning!
It is okay to make mistakes. The key is to admit it, correct
it as soon as possible, and try not to make it again. Mistakes
are our best learning tools! Use them as opportunities to
"learn the ropes" and do not be afraid to ask questions of
peers and supervisors.
New graduates may also encounter
unexpected time pressures and a new level of stress. Workloads
may be massive and it is a stretch to complete everything
on time. If possible, work overtime for two or three months
until up to speed on how to do things. Efficiency will increase
as tasks are learned.
Prioritize tasks and set
goals for task completion. Take notes when performing new
tasks in order to remember details. No one expects "newbies"
to know everything, so ask questions and ask for help when
In college, occasionally
skipping a class or being late to class did not cause any
real detriment to your grade. Not anymore. Tardiness and absences
affect performance evaluations which affect raises and promotability.
It is time to hone your time management skills, not only to
ensure arrival at work on time, but also to ensure that productivity
during the day is at its best. Get and stay organized in mind
and in actions.
A new social arena comes
with a new job. There will be many new people to meet, both
co-workers and members of the general public. Feel free to
get to know people, but be careful to stay out of office politics.
Do not judge someone by the gossip of others or jump to hasty
conclusions based on bad first impressions. Give people a
chance and approach situations with an open mind.
In all companies, there
are some key players with whom it is vital to develop a good
working relationship. Those people are the receptionist/secretary,
the janitor/maintenance man, and the computer guy. Make friends
with all of them. They can make life easy or they can make
Also in all companies, there
are people who, for some reason or another, are always capable
of getting things done when no one else can achieve results.
Identify these people early
and observe how they operate. What do they do that is different
that seems to affect operations? What is their management
style? How do they relate with others? If possible, pursue
a mentor/mentoree relationship with such a person. Learning
the tricks of the trade from someone who is successful can
be a great advantage.
Finally, set some personal
career goals. Just because college is over, does not mean
the formal learning is at an end. Many companies offer educational
incentives and opportunities. Take advantage of them. Be a
In todays job market, the
employee who fails to keep abreast of new concepts, new processes,
and new ideas finds him/herself left behind very quickly.
Always keep your qualifications up to date and consider yourself
"always in the job market".
The first job after college
is one that is always remembered. It is an exciting time when
a career is launched! Work hard, but take time to enjoy it,
too. A good maxim to live by in the world of work - "Be the
type of employee that you yourself would find it a privilege
to work with or to supervise."
Need your first resume and
cover letter? Not sure how to proceed? Let our professional
team create a resume and cover letter that will help you stand-out
from your classmates! Order
Now or call us at 1-866-726-9052!
Back to Job Seeking
1987 - 2020, All Rights Reserved