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First impressions matter
Remember, you only have one chance to make a great first impression! Meredith Woods, Staffing Manager of CFS Bethesda, agrees that it’s important to introduce yourself with confidence. Whether you are meeting the CEO or the receptionist, greet everyone with a smile and respect. Also, your colleagues will take note of the effort you put into meeting them, so be sure to put yourself out there.
Don’t forget to ask questions
Landing your first professional job out of college is a big deal. Although you may feel you know everything, navigating the real world isn’t as easy as navigating a college campus. Patrick Senn, Managing Director of CFS Minneapolis, says “often times we feel like asking for help or not immediately knowing the right answer to something can show weakness, but it is critical to ask for help.” You’re not supposed to know everything right away, and asking questions shows your eagerness to learn.
You were chosen out of numerous applicants to do this job because someone believed in you. Now you have to take a chance on yourself and step outside of your comfort zone. Step up and tackle that new project. Volunteer to lead a new marketing strategy. Whatever it is, even if it scares you, look at it as a chance to grow and accelerate your career.
The first 90 days at a new job generally serve as an evaluation period. When working on your first big project or submitting that first proposal, you are likely to receive some feedback. John Jameson, Executive Recruiter of CFS Chicago, advises that you “view all constructive feedback as criticism, then learn to recognize the true value of it.”
When a manager advises you of a mistake you’ve made, it’s easy to be taken aback or even offended, but you need to remember that mistakes happen. The key is to utilize the valuable feedback and use it to grow. Your manager’s knowledge and experience is an amazing resource.
Never burn bridges
Through the course of your career, you’ll meet a lot of people at the office, work functions, networking events, and more. These connections will prove useful when you want to transition out of your current role. “It is very rare now for someone to start their career and then retire from the same organization. With this being said, your reputation/personal brand is very important and you don’t want that tarnished by burning bridges with your current employer,” explains Senn.
Say “Thank You”
Senn also adds that there is a lot that goes into training/developing/mentoring a new employee, and sometimes you need to take a step back to realize that you should be saying “thank you”. Your manager is giving up their time to make an investment in you and your future, and saying “thank you” is the easiest way to show your gratitude.
Prepare your own lunch
It’s easy to think that you’ll be able to eat out more often when you start your career. Think again. Being that this is your first “real” job, you should still maintain a budget. This isn’t to say that you should skip the lunch outings with coworkers, but instead just do them sparingly. Your health, your waistline, and your wallet will thank you.
What were some of the lessons you learned when you started your career? We want to hear them! Leave us your story in the comments below.
Looking for a job? Contact a CFS recruiter today and we’ll help you with your search! Find the closes CFS location to you here.
Labels: Career Development