So what do college grads need to know and do for job success?.
- Your first job is more about the experience and building your skills, contacts, and accomplishments, rather than the money. Of course, if you can solidify a great salary too, that is even better. But money, in most cases, should not be the main focus.
- Be willing to work hard and do things that others won’t. There is no shame in paying your dues in an entry level job. Show that you can dig deep and do what it takes to help the company succeed, no matter how big or small the task.
- Learn across functions / departments to understand the inner workings of the overall business. You might even ask if you can spend a couple of days or a week working in a department that works closely with your department. This could help build better relationships between the two departments while you build your knowledge and skillsets. This is a plus to your department, so your manager should be more than happy to let you do it (not during peak periods of course)
- As a recent college grad, you can benefit from finding someone in a position a level or two higher, someone you truly admire and respect and see if they will mentor you.
- Start building contacts outside your company. Go to lunch with others within and outside your field of work / industry. You never know when you will feel the urge to move on and these contacts can be invaluable to help you do that. They might even recruit you when you aren’t even considering a change. And make sure they know you are there to help them too!
Links to related article for college grads: