I had no idea what I wanted to do after college. When I graduated – the economy was failing and Lehmans Brothers had just gone bankrupt. It was the worst time to try to find a job. I was lucky enough to be able to land a job in San Francisco at a media agency. I did not really understand the role or what a media agency was but I was happy to have a job!
Fast forward – 10 years later, I have a lot of lessons to share from my corporate work experience. Some bad, some good. But if you are just starting out in your career or have just landed your first job. This blog post is for you!
WHAT TO KNOW WHEN STARTING YOUR FIRST JOB
1. Do Your Research – When you walk into any company, you should be able to understand their work, services offered, team and client list. Go to their LinkedIn, GlassDoor, Twitter, Facebook, and the Company Website. You want to appear knowledgeable and ready to learn. Everything else you will learn on the job but make sure you do the proper research before your first day.
2. Dress for Success – Always error on the side of caution and dress more professional for your first job. This means no jeans, no hoodies and nothing too revealing. You can always alter or update your style once you get a better feel for the office and the company culture. The last thing you want is for your new boss to have a conversation with you about dressing appropriately. This is something I had to do quite a few times with my team when I managed direct reports.
3. It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint – It will take you at least 6 months to get comfortable at a new job – let me repeat that – it will take 6 months to get comfortable at a new job! It takes time to learn a new role, new processes, the hierarchy, and all the new faces. It’s going to seem overwhelming and confusing when you first start. That is normal and part of your journey. Be patient and open-minded.
4. Understand Everyone’s Role – I have made the mistake of discounting people and not realizing the importance of who they were as well as their impact on company culture. Get to know everyone and take note of their role. Understanding where they fit in the company may be key to your success and getting things done.
5. Listen, Observe, Take Notes – Bring a notebook and pen on your first day. Your job is to listen and learn as much about the company and your new role as possible. You will be taking in a lot of new information. Make sure you are writing down the names and roles of people you are meeting during your first week. You will also be introduced to new terminology and industry jargon. In media, it was like learning a whole new language (RFP, MQL, TRP, GRP, DSP, DMP) etc.
Remember, they hired you for a reason! Enjoy the experience and keep an open mind as you learn about your new role! Good luck!
Do you have any other advice you would add??
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