Business Strategy

How to Succeed at Work After Graduation: 6 Rookie-Friendly Tips

Post by
Net Friends

After graduating, starting your first "real" job can be both exciting and overwhelming. This article is for you, a recent graduate with a shiny new job. With these six suggestions at your fingertips, you'll stand out in the right ways and advance quickly in your profession.

Be Dedicated to Upskilling

It's not necessarily the end of your education just because you graduated. Consider strategies to always keep furthering your education. Continuous learning is frequently referred to in the workplace as "upskilling."  

Although the technical skills you learned in college secured your current role, the industry is continuously evolving, therefore professionals need to be committed to upskilling to stay relevant in a cutthroat work climate.

Seek Out a Mentor

A mentor is someone who can support and encourage you, help you improve your skillset, and assist you in overcoming obstacles like changing roles or embracing a challenging assignment. Find those within your organization who are a few years ahead of where you want to be and establish a connection with them. It will be beneficial to have someone who can provide you with career advice and serve as a sounding board when you are having difficulties.

When looking for a mentor, take these 5 things into account:

  • Be Clear About Your Goals
  • Look for Diverse Perspectives
  • Be Specific About Your Desires
  • Ask for Feedback
  • Establish a Routine
  • This may be on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis

Create a Plan for Your First 90 Days

When creating a plan for your first 90 days on the job, set SMART goals. Various criteria are included in SMART goals, which can help you focus your efforts and improve your chances of success in your new role. SMART goals have 5 aspects, including:

Specific: Clearly stated, unmistakable, and well-defined  

Measurable: Precise standards that track your progress toward the goal

Achievable: Achievable and not insurmountable  

Realistic: Feasible, practical, and pertinent to your career

Timely: Have a precisely specified timeline, containing a start date and an end date.  

When creating your 90-day plan, be sure to include time to facilitate continual education about the mission and the culture of the company. This can often be found on the company's public webpage. If you cannot find your company's mission or overall vision on their website, ask your manager where you can find this. You'll most likely get points for both caring about what the overall mission is, as well as indicating that you plan to reference it strongly while creating your own professional goals.

Ask for Feedback

Asking for input is crucial since it shows other people that you are dedicated to developing your abilities and supporting your team. It demonstrates your commitment and desire to achieve because you are taking the initiative to improve in critical areas of your career.

Always express gratitude to those who have given feedback with an "I appreciate you being honest with me about how I can do better. With your advice in hand, I'll think about this and consider how I can improve going forward." Never be hesitant to follow up with anyone who has previously offered you feedback to see whether you've implemented their suggestions; doing so demonstrates that you are paying attention and will result in additional help in the future. Additionally, this will help you establish a reputation for commitment and teamwork within the company.

Find Your Work-Life Balance

Finding a balance between work and life can seem unattainable these days. The availability of workers is increased by the technology in the palm of our hands. Longer hours are encouraged by concerns about job loss. According to a Harvard Business School survey, 94% of working professionals said they worked more than 50 hours a week.

Confirm with your manager both when and how they would like you to check in when you start and wrap up your workday. Establishing a way to have clear boundaries that mesh well with your new boss will help you know how to optimally begin and end your workday.

It can be hard to make drastic changes when trying to establish a work-life balance, especially if you have been one of the 94% of people who work more than 50 hours per week. Making small changes can make this feat slightly less intimidating. For example, if you normally skip lunch, commit to taking a lunch break at least 3 days per week.  

Remain Flexible

Workplace flexibility emphasizes the willingness and ability to adapt to change, particularly regarding how and when work gets done. When entering your new role, you most likely have expectations regarding your role and what your day-to-day tasks will consist of. However, you may be assigned ownership over other tasks that were not previously discussed.  You may not be able to control the changes in your workplace, but you can certainly control how you respond to them. It is important to be able to focus on and work toward the company's goals, configuring your efforts to the tasks at hand.

There are numerous strategies to have a successful career. The information provided here is not all-inclusive, so you can benefit from one piece of advice while getting less use out of another. Additionally, if you're having trouble finding a mentor or there aren't any obvious upskilling possibilities that grab your attention, just concentrate on the other suggestions we made here, such as asking for feedback or completing your 90-day goals. Most importantly, take pride in your accomplishments and the journey you've taken to get here. You can do this.


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