Being a new graduate is an exciting time. You have accomplished a huge goal by earning your diploma and are ready to start the next chapter. Transitioning from student to full time employee is not always easy so here are some tips to help you navigate the process:
- Do some homework: Google the company you are interviewing at or read employee reviews on Indeed.com! Go through their website and learn what you can about your potential employer, it will reflect well on you during your interview.
- Ask questions. During the interview process, you should be asking questions to get some insight into the company. You might ask what it is like to work there, how to be successful there, and even what a typical day would look like. Knowing what the company expectations and your supervisors’ expectations of you can make a huge difference in determining if a job is a fit.
- Culture matters. The culture and working environment matter! There is nothing worse than going to a job that has bad energy and you dread having to show up every day. This includes your actual work space – if you don’t work well in a cubicle and its cubicle city – it might not be an ideal working environment for you. Look around and see how your future co-workers are behaving – do they look happy? Is their space inviting and energizing to you?
- Your 5-year plan. Your first job is not going to be your forever job, but it is an important stepping stone that can give you experience and hopefully future opportunities. Your first job should align with your 5-year plan and get you headed in that direction. While the path might not be a complete direct route, each step should bring you closer to your end goal.
Once you land the job – it is time be a great employee and to integrate into the culture. Here are tips to get you off on the right foot.
- Your supervisor. Get to know your supervisor. Understanding what their expectations of you and your role is key. As a new hire, ask them for frequent updates (or giving them) and feedback to make sure you are making solid contributions and learning from constructive criticism.
- Have a positive attitude. No matter how boring or mundane a task is, have a positive attitude and work ethic. Yes, some work will seem really boring and even beneath your skill set, but everyone has to start somewhere, and people will be paying attention to your attitude while doing these tasks.
- Limit phone usage. Everyone seems tied to their cell phones these days, but while at work, limit your usage of your cell phone and social media. Checking in with your friend can wait until breaks or after work. It may seem like everyone else in the office is on their phone, but until you’ve established yourself it’s best to err on the side of caution.
- Social Media. Yes, your new employer will most likely try to find you on social media. It’s the new norm. So set your profiles to private or limit any pictures or posts that may cause an employer to think twice about your employment. Once you are employed, make sure not to post anything derogatory about your employment. Your chances are quite high that someone will see it and it will reflect badly on you. One exclusion is LinkedIn – your LinkedIn profile should have a semi-professional or professional photo and have any relevant work, volunteer, or accomplishments listed. This is the place to connect and network with people in your field.
- Network. You should get to know as many people in the company you are currently working for as well as in your field. It’s amazing how many people find new opportunities via networking, so don’t be afraid to meet new people and even find someone willing to mentor you.
There’s no doubt about it—transitioning into your first full-time job can be both exciting and overwhelming. And, while the transition can be tough, it’s far from impossible. If banking is your passion and you have questions about the field, I’d be happy to chat – give me a call or stop in the branch.
Litchfield Branch Manager, Vice President