One thing that we always are asked here at Three Q is how to prepare for your first job after you graduate. Although you may have had a part time job before and have some experience in the workforce- your first ‘real’ job can be scary! Here at Three Q we have years of experience of helping new graduates to find their dream job and get on the career ladder. Now that Graduation season has begun, we have decided to put together our tips to prepare you for your first job after you graduate.
The first thing to say is: Congratulations! You made it through your exam and thesis writing days, and have a brand-new, freshly printed degree or certificate to show for it. But even better than that, you have your first official job offer signed, sealed, and delivered- hopefully it’s one that you’re excited to start!
If you have a job offer, you’ve already done a great job. Although the job market has improved over the past few years, many recent college graduates still struggle to secure full-time jobs in their field of study, and the market has become increasingly competitive. So by getting a new job offer, you can calm your nerves by knowing that you do deserve it.
So without any further ado, here is everything you need to know to kickstart your professional life:
Prepare for your first day at your new job.
You already know how important it was to make the right first impression during each job interview. However, creating a great first impression with your new colleagues is just as important. It does require some careful preparation on your part. Be sure to be at least 10-15 minutes early, plan your journey in advance and leave early in case of traffic or emergencies. Be kind to everyone you meet, from the cleaners to the CEO- if you are kind to everyone, everyone will be kind to you as you get to know the workplace- you will find that you will need the help of everyone in the first few weeks!
Create a plan for your first 90 days on the job.
It is known in the recruitment industry that employers often consider a new hire’s first 90 days at the company to be an extension of the interview process. Because you are a graduate with probably little experience, your manager is still feeling you out, and looking to see if you have the potential to become great at your job with experience. You’ll probably doing the same, making sure this hiring decision was the right move for everyone involved.
While some companies provide an orientation program to set their new employees up for success, don’t assume you’ll receive such support. Instead, take matters into your own hands by creating your own 90-day plan. Create a list of things you can do during your first week, month, and 90 days on the job that will set you up for success.This could be something as simple as increasing your sales, learning new skills that will benefit your employer or setting up a new instagram account for the company (with permission of course) if they don’t have one. The point of this is: you must prove that you have the ability to bring something to the job you are working in, and show that you have some great potential.
Reset your expectations for your entry-level position.
You’re excited to join the workforce and take the first step towards your dream job, and that’s a good thing. But make sure you enter this entry-level job with realistic expectations. Research the company, and see what they offer in terms of the career ladder, but don’t expect to be CEO within a year! All things take time, and the career ladder is no different.
Continue to learn — in and out of the office.
The fastest way to lose your edge, both in and out of the workplace, is to stop learning. After years of exams, presentations, essays, and group projects, you may be ready to burn your library card. However, once you’ve given yourself a break and settled into your new routine, you should try and find ways to continue your professional development in and out of the office. For instance, sign up for an online course or start to read into more about your job and the industies.
Invest in your professional network.
You may feel like just because you’ve landed a job, you don’t need any more networking skills. Here at Three Q, we always put emphasis on networking. A strong professional network doesn’t just help you find an entry-level position. The most successful professionals are generally always excellent networkers. Networking is a great way to broaden your circle and can help you build and sharpen your skills, stay on top of industry trends and technologies and keep an eye on the job market in case you ever need it.
Start a book of your work accomplishments.
If you’re a driven person who wants to climb the career ladder, you will need to become comfortable speaking about your job skills and the value you bring to an employer. Prepare for these future conversations by tracking your work accomplishments from the very start of your career in a journal.
This is an uncomplicated job-search tool that allows you to keep track of all your major contributions and accomplishments throughout your career. Tracking professional achievements will not only help you prepare for any performance reviews and future salary negotiation conversations. It will also make it easier to update your entry-level resume when you’re ready to conduct another job search.
These are just a few of our favourite tips that will help you to prepare for your first job after you graduate. Take this career advice to start your first position with confidence. Still looking for your first job? Take a look at our listings which we update daily with new positions that might be suitable. You could also take a look at our CV Checklist to see what you should include on your CV before you get your first job.