5 Tips for Success at Your First Job

And 3 Ways Employers Can Help

‘Tis the season for graduation, interviews, and first jobs. We know the transition to the workforce can be scary, so we reached out to some of our employees for their best tips for transitioning to working full time, as well as what Division-D does to help new employees succeed.

Tips for Success at Your First Job

Just like your first day of college, your first day at a new job might be intimidating. What exactly does “business casual” mean in this office? Will you be the only new hire? How much are you expected to already know about the job? We can’t answer those questions for you, but we can provide a few tips from our team.

1. Be ready to learn

Getting your degree doesn’t mean you’re done learning. Consider this the next step in your mental and professional development, rather than the destination. “Go in with a positive attitude and be ready to learn,” said Gavin White, Account Manager. “It will be a total change from what you’re used to in college, and absorbing all the information and tips from your training and more senior-level coworkers is crucial.”

2. Establish a routine, but stay flexible

You probably had a routine in college: studying in the mornings before class or going to the gym every Wednesday after lunch. Keeping up that mindset will be helpful as you start your first job as well. Find the routine that works for you, both at work and at home, to make the transition easier. Don’t get too comfortable in this routine, though, or unexpected changes will be hard to manage. “Having a routine helps ensure I stay on track with my work for the day,” said Melissa Parker, Account Executive. “However, it is important to be flexible in case projects take more or less time than planned or last-minute priorities come up.”

Smiling happy multiracial colleagues laughing together during coffee break, diverse corporate friendly staff team having fun chatting in coworking, mentors and interns enjoying talk in shared office

3. Set goals

Reach out to your manager to find out what is expected of you and what might be a lofty but achievable goal. Knowing this range will help you work towards where you want to be professionally. “Accomplishing something big in your role feels great and is so rewarding because of the hard work put in,” said Parker. “But it’s important to remember that some days will be better than others, just like in college, and it’s very normal.”

4. Make Connections

Some people choose to separate work and play, but finding friends at work can help you adjust to your new environment sooner. So go to lunch with coworkers, attend company happy hours, and say hi to people in the break room while you grab a snack. “Having friends around makes the day go by so much quicker and makes the adjustment to working full time a lot easier and more fun!” said Melissa Parker, Account Executive. “They are a great support system to have at work and even outside of work.”

5. Keep an open mind

Chances are your first job isn’t exactly what you thought you’d be doing when you walked into your first class freshman year. Continue to keep an open mind to opportunities that weren’t originally on your radar; you never know where they’ll take you. “When I started with Division-D,” said Lori Dillender, CEO, “it was a small start-up with five other employees, and I never expected to see the company get to this stage, nor would I have imagined the career path that I’ve had with the company.”

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How Division-D Helps New Hires Adjust

Whether you’re a college graduate looking for a job or a business owner about to onboard a new hiring class, it’s important to know what companies can do to make employees feel valued. According to a LinkedIn study, “94% of employees say that they would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in helping them learn.” See below for how Division-D stays invested in its employees’ success.

1. Provide mentoring for new hires

Starting a new job can be daunting, so all our new employees are assigned a peer mentor to answer daily questions and help balance their workload. “Our mentor program is designed to give new employees a support system outside of their direct manager,” said Dillender. “This allows new employees to receive guidance from a colleague and build rapport with a teammate as they get acclimated in the new role.”

2. Treat mistakes as learning opportunities

Mistakes are inevitable whether you’re just learning or have been at a job for years. We encourage employees to talk to their manager about any mistakes that were made as soon as possible so they can work as a team to create the best solution. “There was a focus on learning from mistakes rather than making us fear mistakes, which really helped the transition for me,” said White.

3. Value their opinions

New employees may have a lot to learn about the industry, but they can also bring a fresh perspective to something that may have gotten stale. “Division-D made me feel like my opinions had value, even as a new employee,” said John Harris, Media Planner. “This encouraged me to ask questions and actively contribute.”

Remember there are resources to help you in this new life stage. Your manager, co-workers, friends, college professors, and your parents all want to see you succeed. Best wishes from Division-D!

Information for today’s blog came from LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report.

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