Life before the start of being in the “real world”, many resources are provided to help you win that post college position. You have had advice from family, friends, faculty and career experts while on campus. You learned how to prepare a resume, how to interview and how to succeed at receiving a coveted job offer. With your accepted offer in hand and a start date in a few months, what happens next and how do you navigate this change?
During my 35-year business career, I have seen what helps a recent hire become an established employee who is much sought after by management. Remember during your collegian job-hunting days, how great it felt to be wooed and wanted? The same feeling can be achieved as you start your career, assuming you consider some key steps you need to follow.
The previous campus interviewing phase
You were told you were awesome and you have great potential! You were sold on the work-life balance and the great opportunities ahead! You were NOT told that as you start your new position that now you have to deliver on whom you said you were when you interviewed. Your employer has already set your initial role based on what they learned from you during the interviewing process.
The first few days
Your first few days will be spent completing forms. What’s a 401(k)? How many tax exemptions should I select? What health care coverage should I elect? These are just a few of the questions you will need to answer quickly. Before you start, do some research – ask family, friends and peers about these common administrative items and what you should consider when making your decisions. It is stressful enough starting a new job without having to decide whether you want the high deductible plan or the traditional health plan, for example. Be prepared ahead of time to minimize this stress.
Transition to training mode
Learn what you need to learn – it should be your priority! When a company is training you, you are again being evaluated. Lack of effort while being trained can and will lead to less than desirable assignments. As you are given tasks and assignments, many will be routine and possibly even boring. Approach every assignment as an opportunity to learn. These are a test to assess your attention to detail and will likely determine if you can complete assignments properly and complete them on time.
To be continued…