Getting your first full-time job after finishing school is an exciting time. It can be challenging to find an industry in which you are passionate about, and even more difficult to land that entry-level opportunity – so when you do find yourself in that spot, it’s something to be proud of.
Okay, so now you’re in.
How can you set yourself up for success in the first 3-6 months on the job? Here are 3 tips to think about as you enter the workforce:
Understanding that it’s okay to say no
I will be the first to say that I still have a hard time with this, but it is extremely important to be able to do. It’s easy to feel like as the new person you have to do absolutely anything and everything asked of you. And don’t get me wrong, if your boss asks you to photocopy a document and get him or her a coffee – you do it. But it is important to evaluate your responsibilities, prioritize duties, and ensure you are not getting involved in too many things. People simply can’t perform at 100% if they are spread too thin. Help others when they need it, but don’t feel as though you have to do everything for everyone all the time. Prioritize projects and knock them out of the park.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
When you are in a new role, it is easy to have a tendency to want to prove how capable and right for the job you are – all on your own. You have been chosen for the position because you were the right candidate and qualified for the job, but that doesn’t mean you should never ask for help. No matter how skilled or knowledgeable you are, there is nothing more important than having help from those around you. Remember the saying, “Two heads are better than one” – this couldn’t be truer in the working world. It takes half as much time to complete a task with two sets of hands rather than one. The collaboration of ideas and experiences often result in better solutions and outcomes. Don’t feel like you have to do everything on your own. Ask others for help.
Remember to establish professional relationships before personal ones
This one I learned while I was still in school from one of our alumni and it has stuck with me ever since. When you get into the workplace, it is important to establish professional relationships amongst your colleagues before developing personal ones. Naturally, over time, you will build trust with those around you, your relationships will grow stronger, and you will see your co-workers as more of friends rather than colleagues. But don’t force this process. Valuable and meaningful relationships don’t happen overnight – be a good team player, add value, and work hard. Over time you will see your colleagues turn into some of your closest friends.