10 Ways to Nail Your First Gig After Graduation

First Gig after GraduationYou worked hard in college, and now its time to begin your first post-graduation job.

This is an exciting, and anxious, time. You’ll undoubtedly make missteps along the way. You will continue to grow and learn. And like every other major aspect of your life, in order to thrive you’ll need to learn the landscape.

To help you stand out among your job seeking competition after graduation, here are 10 tips to help you land that first gig:

1. Commit to Life-Long Learning

Even though you are physically out of a classroom, life teachers are everywhere; you might learn an astonishing lesson about life from a total stranger on a subway who shows you a profound lesson in kindness. Rule of thumb when you’re first starting out: Watch and listen twice as much as you speak.

2. Make it Personal

Even though our offices are filled with electronic devices to manage and master, don’t lose sight of the humans behind the keyboard. Resist the temptation to put headphones on which make it impossible for you to hear and know things. Smile, say “good morning” to everyone and take the time to know them. Relationships matter!

3. Ask For Help

Admit what you don’t know. That quality endears you to colleagues. Seek to learn from experienced co-workers who will be more than happy to teach you if you speak with respect. Say, “May I pick your brain?” or “Do you have five minutes for me?”

4. Offer Help

Be alert to situations where you can volunteer your talents and skills. These are priceless learning opportunities and earn you a way to become known as a “team player.” Specifically, be generous with offering help to more experienced colleagues. This is called reverse mentoring – and is a great way to establish your professional reputation.

5. Manners Matter

Young professionals who are polite, courteous and communicative are true stand-outs in the world today. Say “please” and “thank you” and hold the elevator. Workplace etiquette will be noticed and remembered. Don’t believe me? Watch the reaction when you intentionally power down your cell in a meeting and really focus.

6. Write Hand-Written Notes

If someone at work (or in life too) goes above and beyond for you, write them a hand-written thank you note to express gratitude. Contrary to what you might have heard, this behavior is not “old school.” This is smart business. Of course, sincerity, specificity and spelling count.

7. Take a Class… and Then Another

Read, read, read and then read some more to stay relevant, invaluable and employed. Seek additional training in areas that make you even more indispensable to your company and manager. Ask your manager for guidance as to what skills would best help her. Then, based on her suggestions take an online class or sign up for a workshop. This is a win/win situation: You gain additional training on your company’s dime; your company gets a more productive and loyal staffer.

8. Scratch Their Itch and Ease Their Pain

Be the staffer who walks towards a problem, not away from it. If you become the go-to person, your future will be very bright where you get to call (most) of the shots. First step: be a problem solver who goes about their business in a positive, collaborative manner.

9. Embrace the Basics

Be on time every day which means 15 minutes early. Stay late when necessary. Work with a smile on your face. Turn the smartphone off. Be respectful to everyone. No exceptions.

10. Know that Not Everyone Will Like You

This one can be tough to take. You may be surprised at the people in your life who are not happy or supportive about your choices or your success. Know that they will spring up out of envy or fear. Remember that their reaction to you, and your ambitions, is about them, not you. In the end, take counsel from the people you trust – and do what is right for you.

You’ve graduated. Now the real fun begins. As you take your next steps, whatever they are, keep your eyes, ears, heart  and your mind open!



For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Glassdoor!





This entry was posted in Career Advice, Gen Y and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.