From College Student to Professional

So you followed all the sage advice you received about the job search process, resumes, interviewing, etc., and you did it: You landed the job!

Congratulations!....Now what?

Career services provides information to help you succeed as a new hire. In this "To Do" list for new professionals, learn tips to make your transition to your new job a smooth one, and to assist you in establishing a professional presence. 


Before you Start


1. Know yourself - Know your job

  • Review your job description and assess your specific areas of strength and challenge, based on what the job requires.


2. Prepare to build skills

  • Create a Professional Development List of knowledge/skills to develop the first year.

  • Periodically assess where you are, where you want to be, and steps to getting there.


3. Adjust your expectations

  • That first job may not be as "exciting" as you thought, or organizational culture or policies may prevent doing all you want.

  • Although you have a college degree, you still have a lot to learn. Think through frustrations; give yourself time to adjust.


4. Connect with employer before starting

  • Contact your supervisor approximately two weeks before you start to express your excitement and to ask if there's anything to do or learn to prepare for your new job.


5. Establish your knowledge base

  • If your employer has indicated information you can learn before starting, then do it!

  • Refresh yourself - review college course content, and research the field online.


6. Organize your personal life

  • Take care of all you can before starting - servicing car, cleaning house, paying bills, stocking up on groceries, etc.

  • Make a trip to your workplace to determine driving time and learn alternate routes in case normal route is inaccessible.


7. Choose your professional wardrobe

  • Shop ahead and select comfortable, yet professional attire.

  • Have enough clothing cleaned, ironed, and ready to wear for several days of work.


After you Start


1. Your arrival

  • Arrive early, and introduce yourself to everyone, including support staff - don't wait to be introduced.

  • Ask questions about office facilities, equipment, policies, dress code, etc.


2. Get to know others

  • Notice those who "energize" you - and those who "drain" you.

  • Think about how you can adjust your attitude so that you can work effectively with various personalities.

  • Pay attention to others' team work and leadership styles - this can assist you in further developing your own.


3. Attitude - think about yours

  • Treat all new colleagues with courtesy and respect - professional AND support staff.

  • Demonstrate energy and enthusiasm! Come in early AND stay late - don't wait for your supervisor to ask.

  • Take initiative to develop and exhibit a strong work ethic and commitment to professional growth!

  • Don't become part of the Gossip Gang! Use your energies more positively. Don't discuss one colleague with another.

  • A good gauge of your progress - create a list of what you've learned/accomplished; update it at the end of each week!


4. Learn the organizational culture

  • Learn processes and procedures, rules and norms: Knowing "the ropes" of an organization's operations can make you more efficient and effective in your job.

  • Keep your work areas clean and organized - straighten your desk the end of each day.

  • Realize that relationships have already been formed, it will take time to establish yourself interpersonally - you may feel "new" for some time!