8 Tips to Land Your First Job
Northeast Consulting Group, Inc. understands that transitioning from college life to career life can be tough. We’re all taught that you go to college, you earn your degree, and you get a job. The scary truth is that the majority of college grads these days are still looking to jump start their career and are struggling to find something consistent. How do you get a job when you don’t have experience? How can you get your career going with only having a piece of paper that shows you graduated? Well, Sheryl Sandberg wrote a book called, “Lean In For Graduates” to help new grads land their first job to help jump start their careers.
Here are the 8 tips to help you get started!
- Adopt the mantra, “Proceed and be bold.”
Whether it’s applying to jobs or taking on assignments at work, take up this phrase as your new career mantra. “BE BOLD.” This is important for everyone especially women. Women often fear putting themselves out there. Most men will apply for jobs that they feel meet 60% of their job requirements while women won’t unless the job meets all of theirs. Who do you think has a better chance of landing the job?
If you’re employed, adopt the “bold” principal for opportunities at work. Let your manager know you’re interested in additional assignments and keep your eyes open for projects that will allow you to make a name for yourself. Shift your mind from thinking, “I’m not ready to do that,” to thinking “I want to do that – and I’ll learn by doing it.”
- Shift from a “What do I get?” to a “What can I offer?” mindset.
Most job seekers fall into the trap of focusing on what an organization will do for them, when in actuality, putting the company’s needs front and center is what really gets you noticed.
At every step in your job search, look for other opportunities to make a good impression. Once you land the interview, go above and beyond what is expected. Look at the companies social media links that they send you. Don’t assume you’ll have the answers to all their interview questions. Plan ahead and have questions of your own.
- Negotiate – Wisely!
The wage gap starts early. You don’t get what you don’t ask for and in turn you don’t get what you don’t earn. If you’re willing to work hard and committed to succeeding in a career opportunity, show what you’re made of first and then ask your manager for what you think you’ve earned. You won’t get anything unless you show what you can do.
- Break long-term goals into short-term steps
Figure out what your long term goal is and don’t be afraid to think big! Goals can be daunting, so start by breaking them down into small achievable steps. Make sure whatever you do, that you continue to learn and grow. Look for ways to improve and reflect on what slows you down or what you’re scared to try. If you do this, you’ll uncover valuable opportunities to build new strengths.
Keep your goal in mind and stay flexible and open to new and unexpected paths. Playing it safe holds you back. Seek out diverse experiences, especially if they’ll add new skills to your toolkit. The more you have, the more likely you’ll find yourself on track to achieve your goals both personally and professionally.
- Own your spot at the table
It can be hard to feel confident when you’re just starting your career. Don’t underestimate yourself and in contrast, don’t overestimate yourself. Your success is attributed to skills not luck. It’s difficult to change the way you feel, but you can train yourself to change the way you think, which will ultimately change the way you act. When you walk into a situation feeling insecure, remember that you’ve earned your position. Act on your knowledge.
When you’re faced with a challenge, remember that the person next to you most likely thinks they can tackle the challenge, so why shouldn’t you? When you push past your insecurities, you’ll gain more confidence, which will lead you to more opportunities.
- Listen to your inner voice
As you shift from college to the workplace, your inner voice can serve as a powerful guide. It’s okay to worry and wonder while you make the transition into the real world. But, don’t let the voices and opinions of others drown out your own. Once you start turning into what you think, feel, and care about, you can begin to forge your own path.
Your inner voice can help you figure out the answers to really important questions: Do I want to apply for this job? Do I want to live in this city? Practice listening to that voice. Each time you listen to yourself, you build the confidence that will help you lead the life you truly want.
- Don’t ask, “Will you be my mentor?”
Too many young people start with the question, “Will you be my mentor?” But studies show that mentors select proteges based on their performance and potential, so shift your thinking from, “If I get a mentor, I’ll excel” to “If I excel, I’ll get a mentor.”
- Don’t leave before you leave
Without realizing it, we start to make career decisions based on responsibilities that we don’t even have yet. Don’t fall into this trap. Keep all your options open until you need to make a choice. Odds are, if you do, you’ll have a more fulfilling position with flexibility for things that will happen later in life. Go in with the mentality that you can have it all. You don’t have to have “a” or “b” – figure out a way to have both “a” and “b” in your life.