5 Ways To Kill It In Your First Job – Advice For College Graduates

This is one of the most exciting times of the year for me because in the spring we welcome our newest class into our Associate Development Program.  Our Associate Development Program is focused on turning recent college graduates into the next generation of digital marketing ninjas! As I think about the launch of this year’s program, it seems to be a fitting time to share my advice on how to kill it in your first job.

  1. It is all about Attitude.

Having a good attitude is essential in every job, but for recent college grads, it is being looked at with even more weight.  When college grads are hired, it is likely for what recruiters believe they can grow to be. The best way, in these early days, to show you are going to make a good impact is through your attitude.  As a grad, you want to truly put your best foot forward. Always be positive. Be hungry to learn new things. Take on every project—no matter how big or how small—with full excitement and readiness to hit it out of the park.

  1. Be a Sponge.

Your true job is to learn as much as you can, as quickly as you can.  Come ready to be a sponge.  Take in all you can. Ask questions to understand how things work, why things are done, and what can be done to go to the next level.  If there is something you aren’t clear on – GOOGLE IT (and then get confirmation you are doing the right thing).  In my first job out of college I was recruiting IT consultants but had no clue about the IT industry. At night, I read textbooks I got out of the library in order to learn as much as I could about this new world. Nowadays, things are a LOT easier with resources at your fingertips, which means you have no excuse to not dive deep and educate yourself quickly!

  1. Don’t acquire bad habits

You are lucky, you are in a world new to you. Take advantage of this and be active in preventing bad habits that can be career limiting. These habits include:

  • Being chronically late for every meeting
  • Get sucked into office drama
  • Allowing distractions like Facebook or Snapchat lure you from what’s important
  • Procrastinating
  • Being sloppy in your work/lacking attention to detail
  • Having poor time management
  1. Know your role.

It is essential you know what is expected of you. Not all companies are good at providing clarity on this.  Just because you are new to your role does not mean that you can’t demand to have clarity.  Ask your manager to sit with you and walk through all the expectations so you can be sure you are excelling 100% at what is expected.

  1. Go BEYOND your role.

Now that you know your role, it is time to go beyond it!  Sticking to doing just what’s in the job requirements is not enough anymore.  Always look for ways to bring more impact to your role.  Doing this will ensure that you are set up to succeed. However, be sure not to get so caught into doing the extra stuff that you forget to kill it 100% in the job you are in – that is a trap I see people fall into way too often.  Also, please remove the following statement from your vocabulary: “that is not my job”.

Elizabeth Lynch

About Elizabeth Lynch

Elizabeth is responsible for recruiting employees and executing professional-growth programs once they arrive. She established and maintains Fathom’s Leadership Development Program, in addition to handling HR issues and conflict management. In her former position as the director of email marketing operations, she was responsible for the growth, retention and maintenance of all email marketing clients, in addition to managing a group of 12 account executives, marketing specialists and programmers.Elizabeth holds an Executive MBA from Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. She also holds a BA in psychology from Miami University of Ohio.

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