How to Survive Your First Job as A Recent Graduate

Recent college graduate with big dreams of changing the world? Trying to adjust to the 9 to 5 grind of the work week? If so, find out how to survive your first job.

The glory days

As a recent graduate you have just finished what people say are the best four years of your life. Through these four years you are bombarded with information, advice, skills and tactics to help you land a job after graduation.

Learning how to survive your first job is tough work as it is not taught in the classroom. While you may be among the lucky few who have had the opportunity to first intern for a prospective company, many recent graduates have not had this opportunity. Due to the immediate need and competitive nature in finding a job- employers are not only looking for highly trained recent graduates, but also those who posses qualities that cannot be communicated through a resume. In particular employers are looking to hire recent graduates who have a good attitude, are highly adaptable and intuitive.

Survival of the fittest

Attitude determines altitude

Having a positive attitude during the course of your first job is crucial. Nobody wants to work with someone who has a negative attitude. In addition, as a new hire, coworkers expect you to have the “let’s dive in” mentality regardless of the day, situation or circumstances. Applying this attitude is easier said than done. There are no off days when you are starting your career, rather if you feel happy or not – fake it till you make it.

Roll with the punches 

The workplace is a jungle. Therefore being adaptable is the only way to survive. Employers are looking to hire recent graduates who can maintain a poker face when clients are upset, and who can get their hands dirty when no one else wants to take the initiative. Simply put, employers are looking for recent graduates who can roll with the punches and do so with a smile on their face.

Let your gut be your guide

Emotional intelligence plays a vital role in determining your success in the workplace. In the book Emotional Intelligence, author Daniel Goleman states that having a higher EQ is more important to than having a higher IQ. Entering your first job is not for the faint of heart, you will be challenged daily. When dealing with conflict in the workplace use your gut, be mature and pick your battles wisely. Remember you are the lowest on the totem poll.

In summary starting your first job is exciting, but surviving your first job can be a daunting job all on its own. Remember that there are things you can prove to your employer through your actions such as having a good attitude, being adaptable and intuitive in all situations. Most importantly remember that when things go wrong (because they will) to remain calm.

Good luck.

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