Calling All Grads – Mind Your First Job

calling all grads

This post is an excerpt from the book, Calling All Grads! Turning a Degree Into a Job. Available from Amazon for $7.46.

You’ve been hired. Time to ditch some old habits. Finding that first job has been a long, slow process. It took much longer than you – and your parents – thought it would. But dozens of resumes later, you‘re finally at the end of the never-ending tunnel.

Etiquette In Your First Graduate Job

Before you bask in the fluorescent glow of employment, remember that one phrase a
family member probably shared with you as you headed out on that first day on the job:

―Don‘t screw it up!

Good advice, you know. It‘s one thing to find a job but it‘s calling all gradssomething else to keep it. Sure, you can use some of the same skills that brought you here, but there are plenty of other lessons you‘ll need to learn. To have some employment staying power, you‘ll need to be open to the occasional reboot of your perceptions.

Katharine Purnell, Vice-President of student affairs for the American Intercontinental University in Weston, Fla., says your first goal should be proving to your employer that you are an integral part of the organization.

―Don‘t expect too much right from the start – this isn‘t about easy duties, flexible hours,
freedom to surf the Internet, high salary or a fancy title. That will all come over time to
those who earn it.

―The first job will start you on that career path. Value it and be patient.

It‘s simple, Purnell says. Just stay focused on the job, and do it well.

―Work hard and stay away from the gossip or anything else that distracts you from doing
the job you were hired to do.

―Be prepared to earn your way up the career ladder.

Making An Impression In Your First Graduate Job

Making a good first impression on the people you meet is important. Dawna Stone, Tampa Bay-based co-author of ―Winning Nice: Succeeding in Business and Life Without Waging War, says to be polite and energetic when you‘re introduced to your new co-workers.

―Be positive in your first interactions and your excellent reputation will soon precede

―First impressions are often lasting impressions, so make the most of every new opportunity to make a great one. How you dress for your first job is important as well.

―Remember, you‘re not dressing to impress your peers, you‘re dressing to impress your

―In our increasingly casual culture, there are still limits. Take your cues on appropriate dress from people above you, not the people at your level. You are bound to make new friends at your job as you will likely be surrounded by people your age, remember they are your co-workers, not your buddies.

―Save your rowdy behavior and discussions of highly personal issues for your non-work

―If you want to be viewed as a professional and someone your coworkers look up to, you need to act professionally even in non-work situations.

Online Reputation In Your First Graduate Job

Although you may be used to tweeting your every move and posting visual summaries
of your weekend bar crawls, you might want to take it easy on the keypad for a while.
And tell your friends that those embarrassing pics of you are no longer for public

―Employers absolutely check your Facebook page and Twitter feeds, so be careful what
you post and what your friends post about you.

―The golden rule is never to write, do or say anything online that you wouldn‘t write, do or say in person. Even if you think your profile is private, remember that it‘s the world wide web and nothing is ever entirely private.

―Limit yourself to one exclamation point per professional email.

―Don‘t use cute acronyms like LOL, or smiley or frown faces. Also, be sure to use proper

This article was excerpted from the new eBook “Calling All Grads! Turn a Degree into a Job,” edited by careers writer and editor Marco Buscaglia and published by Tribune Media Services, Inc. For more information or to purchase the book, visit http://amzn.to/callingallgrads-kindle.