If you are a student preparing for graduation, you might have been proactive and squared away a job for the summer. As you enter your new career you will begin to recognize that your first year is a transition stage, where you are no longer a student, but you are not quite a professional yet, either. All new professionals, regardless of their prior academic standing, will experience this transition. No matter how much success you may have had academically, it doesn’t automatically apply to your career.
Luckily, you start your career with a clean slate. With this comes independence, as well as a myriad of critical decisions (should you go with the pink or the purple drapes?) and life changing experiences. The decisions that you make, and the resulting events, will have a major impact on your career.
Some things to keep in mind during your first year:
- Seek opportunities for professional and personal development. Many companies provide training sessions and incentives for employees interested in education related to their position.
- Don’t procrastinate; prioritize your life. It may have been easy in College to wait until the last minute to complete an assignment and still get a good grade, but that kind of stuff will not work in the business world. When you set your deadlines, give yourself plenty of time to meet them.
- Never stop learning. Ask lots of questions and show interest in what you are doing- this will pay off from both an informational point of view, as well as an image point of view. Your boss will like the fact that you are not content to simply “know what you know”.
- Accept responsibility. Looking for someone to blame will only make you look weak and incapable. Instead, own up to the mistakes that you make and take responsibility for the consequences. This will keep your conscience clear, as well as your reputation.
- Stay healthy. Avoid sinking into a poor routine of bad diet and lack of exercise. Eat a balanced diet, rich in proteins and varied nutrition. Establish good sleeping habits (and stick to them). Remember that mom or dad are not around to take care of you when you are sick, so make sure that you simply get sick less often! Balance is the key.
- Be prepared for your emotions. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself becoming increasingly more overwhelmed. There is a lot going on in your life right now; moments where it seems like too much is going on are going to happen.
- Keep track of your money. Work out a budget and stick to it. Make sure that you are saving at least 10% of your income, and never spend more than you can afford. Living within your means will save you from unmanageable debt later.
- 100 Free Business Cards
- Debt Genie
- GooglePro (Recommended)