Starting a new job for the first time can be intimidating.
Not knowing what to expect can make any young person anxious, but here's the thing: everyone's a first timer at some point in their career.
And the good news is that many people are generous enough to give you advice or at least some heads up on what to expect and how to go about the "real world."
Landing Your First Job
Thinking about entering the workforce for the first time can be intimidating and uncomfortable, and you are not alone. Here are some tips on how to land your first job.
- Use your network. Consider who in your circle of friends has connections and can vouch for you. This is probably the easiest way to land your first job.
- Take advantage of internships. You can gain skills and experience from internships, and most importantly, you can receive a job offer by the end of the program. Consider companies that have wide brand recognition, as it will look good on your resume and up your chances of getting offers from other companies.
- Seek help from your school’s career services. Make use of your school’s alumni database. Your career counselor can introduce you to alumni who are currently employed or are business owners in similar fields. Go to career fairs to find opportunities, as well.
- Curate your online presence. Build a good online presence by putting up an online portfolio, writing blog articles, or joining and contributing to online communities. Set up a LinkedIn profile and have other people endorse you. Check your social media accounts and make them private.
Establish Productive Habits
As you get the hang of everything, it will eventually be easy for your to-do things to pile up, your schedule to be tight, and your personal life to mesh with the professional.
To avoid this, establish good habits early on.
It can be as simple as setting a specific time of the day to spend just for yourself — away from anything that relates to work.
Good habits include squeezing in a workout daily, getting up early, preparing food, and logging off work on time.
These habits are not work-related, leading us to the second piece of advice.
Rest is as Important as Work
As they always say, your body will pick the day for you if you don't choose a day to rest.
Sometimes, rest is the most productive thing you can do in a day.
Unfortunately, grind culture tends to downplay the importance of rest, leaving most of us burned out and always at the edge of quitting.
Young professionals must understand that to ensure longevity in their careers, they must know how to pace themselves.
Listen to your body, take those vacation leaves, sleep on weekends, and aim for 8 hours every night.
Dress Well at all Times
Always look professional, and looking professional doesn't only mean a suit and tie.
Depending on your industry, come to work every day looking like you're always ready for a promotion.
Invest in yourself — no need to splurge too much— and invest in wardrobes of quality fabrics and timeless designs.
How you look is the first thing people notice about you, so make sure to make a good impression at all times.
Ask Thoughtful Questions
Your superiors and colleagues will expect you to ask questions and look for guidance as you learn the ropes.
Therefore, as you face new tasks, it is best to ask for advice.
And to give the impression that you are giving your job much thought, craft targeted and thoughtful questions.
This will show them that you are committed to growing in the organization and accomplishing your tasks on time.
Accept and Seek Feedback
An excellent way to earn your supervisor's and colleagues' trust is to be open to feedback.
As you navigate a new environment, you must have the ability to process and implement feedback.
Take advantage of avenues where you can gain helpful input from mentors, supervisors, and co-workers — one-on-one meetings, evaluations, and project planning.
Establish that your organization can always rely on your integrity at work.
Whether religiously following security procedures while working remotely or submitting work reports on time, you need to build a good reputation they can always trust and rely upon.
Aim to make your daily interactions professional and positive.
Avoid gossiping and sharing too much information about your personal life with colleagues.
Instead, behave ethically at work and build good relationships with everyone.
Develop a Skill That Can Set Your Apart
When you find yourself competing with colleagues, you may possess similar competencies and skills.
To set yourself apart, you can learn a new skill that can enhance your career or be an excellent addition to things you can do.
For example, if you are in accounting, you can learn coding.
Or if you're in marketing, you can learn to draw or paint.
Doing this can make you more marketable and, at the same time, keep your brain active by introducing new skills to it.
Make a Five-Year Plan
A sense of direction can help you make decisions regarding your career.
You can jot down how you see yourself in five years, then work back and write down what you need to do to accomplish it.
If you plan on getting a promotion within the next couple of years, list the tasks, accomplishments, and projects you might need to do to achieve it.
Avoid saying things like, "it's going to happen if it's meant to be."
While this is a comforting thought, in the workplace, this can be a counterproductive mantra to live by if you're not careful.
Instead, take action and be accountable for your career.
These are just a few tips a young professional may find helpful.
You are in for a ride filled with every emotion you can think of.
The most important thing is not to lose sight of your values and principles in whatever workplace or industry you end up in.
About the Author: Regi Publico is a full-time writer who is also an artist for fun. She takes pride in her towering collection of books and loves reading about anything under the sun. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge through every article that she writes.