Your First "Real" Job

Your first job out of college can be very stressful. The acquisition of new responsibilities, both work-related and not, is a daunting idea, and can be overwhelming in practice. There are ways, though, to make your first job go smoothly to help ease this stress. An article by Dawn Rosenberg McKay titled "Your First Job After College - How to Make the Transition to Your First Job After College Graduation" highlights a set of tips and tricks that will help create a much simpler, less anxious transition.

McKay starts her article off speaking of the comforts of school and how they differ from the rigor and cutthroat nature of the real world. She makes it very clear that you are, "one spoke in the wheel that makes the organization run. If that spoke is broken, your employer will just go out and replace it. Enough said." This is not to terrify you, but to make you think honestly about the job at hand and the amount of responsibility you are taking on.

McKay then leads to tips to help you succeed. There are a total of eleven tips. Here are a few examples:

1. Always arrive at work on time, if not early.

This makes a great first impression daily and creates a great reputation for you as an employee.

2. LISTEN - LISTEN - LISTEN...and OBSERVE.

Learning will be a part of your daily job, and paying great attention to the words and actions of those around you will help you act appropriately and learn the company's best practices.

3. Find a mentor. 

Finding a mentor, especially one on a similar career path to you, will help you learn more quickly and efficiently, and can often help you rise through the ranks faster with good word-of-mouth recommendations.

4. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

The importance of doing things right quickly skyrockets as you enter the working world. Asking questions for clarification is not a sign of ignorance, but a sign of intelligence and aptitude. An employer will always be happier with you if you ask clarifying questions in order to complete a task than if you go through it assuming you know what you are doing.

 These tips, along with the seven others, are designed to help you alleviate stress from the workplace. Being comfortable in your working life, especially early on, will help you grow much more quickly and allow for great career opportunities to come knocking at your door.