By: Alexandria Haymaker
So you’ve finally finished college, and what a ride it was! You hop out into the proverbial real world, and you realize how lost you really are. Don’t worry. Everyone gets that feeling of jetlag. Here are some dos and don’ts to give you some direction and reassurance.
1. Don’t stress about not knowing the future. It’s okay to have an idea of what you want to do, but make sure that you are flexible enough to seize opportunities that become available.
2. Don’t be discouraged by your first paycheck. Of course, make sure that you can make ends meet, but realize as well that your first job is just a stepping stone in your career path.
3. Don’t be “that guy.” Build your personal brand. Don’t be the one people are talking about behind their back. Do your work. Do it right. Always do your best on the little things, and the big things will come much easier.
4. Do make the most of your opportunities. Be a rock star with the opportunities you are given, especially the ones that will look good on a resume. Always give them your all, and make sure you nail it.
5. Do network. It’s easy to say-not easy to do, but seriously, network. Don’t wait for a position to come available before you start talking to someone from the company you are interested in working for. Proactively network within an organization. Reach out and ask for a 15-minute phone conversation. Ask questions about their job and what they do. It’s flattering, and they will almost never say no.
6. Don’t ask for something the first time you network with someone. Develop a relationship. People are more likely to do favors for someone they know. No one wants to help someone that comes to them with their hand out.
7. Don’t think you’ll have your dream job right off the bat. You might look around and see some of the people you graduate living the dream. Always remember that they are the exception-not the rule. Work hard, and you will end up in a job that you enjoy too.
8. Do ask questions. Ask questions without being needy. Yes, make sure the things you do are done right, but try not to be running in and out of your supervisor’s office. Make a list of questions and kill three or four birds with one stone. It makes work run more smoothly for everyone.