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1. Adopt a winning attitude! Seek out those professionals within your organization that are successful and respected. Observe their attitudes, interactions with others and their work ethic. See what makes them successful and mirror their behavior. Your winning attitude should encompass characteristics of humility, respect, flexibility, confidence, a strong work ethic, the willingness to be open and learn…and a positive outlook!

2. Adjust your expectations The college-to-work transition is not an easy one and you may find yourself a month, a week or even a day into the job thinking “this is not what I had in mind.” Your frustration is merely the difference between expectations and reality. The truth is, many college grads express frustration in how workplace challenges are different from what they had originally anticipated. But give it a fair shot; be positive as you acclimate to your new lifestyle and try your best to keep expectations realistic. Your employer will appreciate it!

3. Learn the “rules to play by” As the newbie, you are not automatically granted acceptance-you must earn it from your colleagues. This means observing and catching on to the organization’s norm and informal rules. The best way to become accepted by your peers is by fitting in. You’ll have plenty of time to assert your own style, ideas and ways of doing things, but until you have the blessing from those around you, continue to prove your value to them.

4. Manage impressions you make

College vs. The World of Work College

Frequent, quick, and concrete feedback (grades, and so forth) Highly structured curriculum and programs with lots of direction Few significant changes Flexible schedule Frequent breaks and time off Personal control over time, classes, interests Intellectual challenge Choose your performance level, (e.g., A, B, C.) Focus on your development and growth Create and explore knowledge Individual effort Right answers Independence of ideas and thinking Professors Less initiative required

Work

Infrequent and less precise feedback Highly unstructured environment and tasks with few directions Frequent and unexpected changes Structured schedule Limited time off Directions and interests dictated by others Organizational and people challenges A-level work required all the time Focus on getting results for the organization Get results with your knowledge Team effort Few right answers Do it the employer’s way Bosses Lots of initiative required

Source: NACE Jobweb

Keep in mind you have no track record, so it’s the impressions and perceptions others have of you that matter. Even the smallest blunders are magnified in impact when you’re new. Remember, what is okay for more experienced people to do may not be okay for you to do. Avoid doing anything that reminds people of college-student-type behavior. Evaluate everything you do in terms of how it will look to those who know nothing about you but who are going to put a label on you. Be safe in your first year by playing it very conservative.

5. Build effective relationships The best way to learn how to be successful in an organization is from the people! Take the time to build quality working relationships with as many people as you can. Seek a mentor, someone respected and whom you admire, listen to their advice and absorb as much information as possible.

Rusk Building, 3rd Floor  936.468.3305  careerservices@sfasu.edu  www.sfasu.edu/ccs/careerservices


6. Become a good follower Wait…shouldn’t that say leader? Actually, no…think about it: the typical college experience generally focuses on developing leadership skills, but you can't be a good leader until you first learn to be a good follower. Employers don't want to see your leadership skills in the beginning—they want to see your ability to follow. Your boss has quite a bit of power over your future with the organization. Cultivate a positive relationship with him or her early by becoming an easy employee to manage. After all, the boss holds the key to showcasing your talents, getting you the training that you need, shaping the organization’s opinion of you, evaluating your performance and determining your advancement beyond this position. Think long term!

7. Understand organization's culture Each organization has its own unique rules, norms, values, beliefs and atmosphere. Organizations look to hire people who fit their culture and enthusiastically embrace it when hired. Until you have a solid track record of proven performance and have been accepted as part of the team, you’re best to not deviate from the culture!

8. Develop organizational savvy Of course every organization has formal leadership, structures, systems and procedures. But, pay close attention and take note of the informal leaders, procedures and methods that really get things done.

9. Understand your new-hire role Everyone has been the new kid on the block at one time or another, so now it’s time to pay your “new employee” dues. So what? You have to work your way up. How will you ever be in a position to manage others, unless you have done the tasks yourself? Learn your niche with the team, understand the bigger picture (you have to work your way up the ladder) and perform your tasks with a smile on your face and to the best of your ability.

10. Master the tasks in your jobs Acquire knowledge, skills, abilities you need to do your job, and to do it well. Don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor for training. You are responsible for your own personal and professional development. Seize every occasion to learn, become a master of your work and position yourself for the next opportunity.

Rusk Building, 3rd Floor  936.468.3305  careerservices@sfasu.edu  www.sfasu.edu/ccs/careerservices


10 tips on the job success