Tips for Success At Your First Job After College

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Shorter Version


Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hooray! You made it to your first job after college. Congratulations. Before the celebration dust fully settles, you’re suddenly a young working professional and ready to climb the career ladder. So what does that look like? How do you get a good start on your career ambitions?

Consider In-company Networking Opportunities

Building relationships as a young professional requires more initiative and persistence compared to the structure you had in college, where everybody was close by and the same age. You could have easily walked down the hallway and asked a friend to go for drinks or join you at the gym. After college, that’s no longer as easy. 

Consider joining employee resources groups, volunteer for a social project, or be the social butterfly who brings colleagues together for birthdays or project celebrations! Make an effort to get to know people genuinely and holistically. Ask about their pets or children, take interest in what they’re interested in, and share bits about yourself too so they can know you better. 

Track Your Accomplishments At Your First Job After College

Meticulously track your accomplishments and successes along the way at your first job after college. Keeping records of your professional journey will boost your confidence when you have more difficult days, the times when life gets you down and you envy your friends on social media. 

Tracking your successes is crucial. It gives you stories and data to back you up when you seek a promotion, raise, or new career opportunity. Don’t assume your memory will always be strong enough to remember the processes and outcomes from your past accomplishments.

Engage in Continuing Education

Even though you’re officially graduated and in your first job after college, that doesn’t mean learning stops! In actuality, this is the time you figure out what elements you learned in school are helpful in your role/industry. You also discover what things you still need to learn to continue to be successful in your company. 

Look for opportunities with high ROI, such as LinkedIn Learning, as that platform has a wide range of professional development topics. These range from technical to social to help you excel in the professional workplace.




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Actionable Steps


Here are 3 steps to help you excel at your first job after college:

1

Network.

After you start working for a little while, begin taking advantage of all the networking opportunities your company may have available to its employees. Try to meet everyone in your office, and consistently show up to as many social events as you are able to.

2

Measure impact at your first job after college.

Consider using a Microsoft Excel or Google spreadsheet to track your accomplishments by what you did, how you did it, how you brought value to the organization, and what skillset you developed or expanded on.

3

Partner with your manager.

Set up a meeting with your supervisor to better understand if the company financially supports professional development opportunities. Create a plan with your supervisor to sort what training and certifications will best serve you in your current role and potentially longer-term as well.

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About the Author


Nadia Ibrahim-Taney

Nadia Ibrahim-Taney

Career Coach

Nadia Ibrahim-Taney, M.Ed., MA is the founder and principal career coach for Beyond Discovery Coaching. Her mission is to help you design and build a happy and fulfilling career that makes you want to get out of bed every day. She is an experienced higher education administrator with a prestigious tenure working with students in the United States and the United Kingdom.

She has spent the past 15 years working with students in different roles across academia. In addition to career coaching, she is an experienced tutor who has helped students at some of the most elite universities in the US including Harvard, MIT, Tufts University, and Boston University. Contact Nadia if you need a career coach, or if you are a student looking for help with time management, academic planning, assignment planning, and accountability partnering.

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