Photo: Andrew Neel on Unsplash
So you got your first job after college and are trying to navigate the working world. Depending on what kind of job you have, whether it’s corporate or not, it will be an adjustment. Among the many emotions you’ll feel, nervousness and excitement will probably be at the forefront. But having the right tools to navigate what you’re feeling will help you feel more confident as you start out. Keep the following points in mind if you find yourself struggling with how to start off on the right foot at your first job.
Off to the races.
Firstly, one of the main things that you might find yourself trying to get used to is not being in school anymore. It’s important to be conscious of the shift in your responsibilities. Being on time and doing your assignments are things that transcend into your new work life. You carrying out those responsibilities hold a lot more weight now; It’s the difference between a positive trajectory within your career and a negative one. Remember this as you focus on your transition into working full time. You’ve had your time to practice and now it’s your moment to shine.
Define yourself and don’t let anyone else do it for you. A lot of your time in college was probably spent figuring out who you are as a person. Now is when you make your mark and put your plans into action. All of the skills that you developed in college are to be sharpened while on the job. You were hired partly because your strengths in these skills were desired. Stay true to who you want to be as a person and what you want to represent. You have something unique to bring to your workplace and being yourself will do just that. If you find yourself in an environment that doesn’t allow you to thrive on being yourself, take the time out to evaluate if that’s where you should be.
Along with upholding your responsibilities and staying true to yourself, making valuable connections will serve as a resource for you later on down the line. Take the opportunity to meet as many people as you can at your new job. There will be a time when you’ll need a trustworthy reference or information about other opportunities. This will make for a more positive work environment—plus it’s no fun having no one to talk with while at work!
Furthermore, make sure to develop a good relationship with your boss. Yes, they are the ones that will give you promotions but they are also here to help you grow. A lot of times folks tend to be somewhat afraid of their superiors. But remember that they needed you at the end of the day. That’s why they hired you. If you’d like to move up within your career you should be getting good feedback from a trusted source, such as your boss. Take the initiative to check in with them regularly on your performance and what you can be doing to excel even more.
Balance things out.
While this is an exciting time in your life, it can also be a stressful one. It’s important to be dedicated to your craft, but all work and no play will leave you burnt out. Burnout is certainly real, especially for millennials in this day and age. Make sure that you have a good support system to vent and escape to when work is done. Not only should your job be a source of happiness for you but your friends and loved ones should be as well. There will be times when work will stress you out and having an outlet to unload those frustrations onto is crucial. When friends aren’t around a good hobby should be next on your list as a healthy outlet outside of work.
Starting your first job can be scary but always remember that it’s a learning process. You won’t get it right every time but figuring things out is what it’s all about. Remain confident in yourself and enjoy the journey. Keep in mind these several tips to help you along the way!
Jaimy aspires to be a relative voice to other young adults like her. As a Haitian-American first-generation college graduate, she knows that the complicated journey she's been on to get to where she's at now is the same story for many others. She challenges the status quo by going after what she truly believes in which is having the opportunity to be creative while unapologetically pursuing your passion and not conforming to what everyone else deems is right for you. Jaimy loves to read, stay active, and spend time with the people she loves.