Youth/Young Adult Education

Your First Job - Make the Most of It

You’ve just graduated from college and are moving into the work force, or maybe you just turned 16 and are about to begin a new job to help pay for your new car. Regardless of whether you are 16 or going on 30, there are a number of things you can do to maximize not only your efficiency and utility for your new employer, but also provide yourself with the most growth as an individual.

When beginning your first job, take some time to complete an honest self-assessment:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? 
  • How do you take directions and orders from others? 
  • How quickly do you learn? 
  • Are you flexible? 

Having a real assessment of who you are as an individual before you begin your new job will help you understand not only how well you will fit into your new position, but also provide you with areas to concentrate on as you progress in your career.

Make sure you go “above and beyond” when you get started in your new job. Be willing to get to work early and stay late in order to learn your responsibilities faster. Showing a willingness to do whatever you have to do in order to quickly assimilate into your new job will be noticed and appreciated.

Next, you should get to know your co-workers. By doing so, you find that your job is more enjoyable, and you will be seen as a “team player.”  Take the time to share who you are and what you are about, and don’t leave anything up to speculation. Additionally, getting to know those you are working with will often put you in a position to learn more about your job as well as the responsibilities of others which goes beyond the scope of your current position. This type of knowledge will set you up to apply for new positions or opportunities that open up in your company if you are interested.

Finally, do what others are not willing to, and do it with a smile. There are many types of employees, but the best employees are those who do what the team needs done without grumbling or bragging. While this can be difficult at times, the benefit to you personally and professionally can be great. Having a “can do”, “will do” and “I’d love to” attitude will catch the attention of decision-makers within your company quickly. Also, it will help you enjoy your time at work more.

Every job is different, and each day at work will bring different trials and challenges to the table. Go into your first job with a willing and open perspective that allows you to make the most of your experience.

Source: Southwest Strategic Marketing, LLC

Prepare to Get Hired While You're in College

One thing everyone knows going through college is how hard it is to get a job after graduation, and getting the job that you want is not going to fall into your lap. You are going to have to work now for a better future tomorrow. By following these steps, you’ll be in a much better position to snag a job opportunity right when you graduate.

Step #1:  Build a network and start marketing yourself.  

Technology makes this step easier than ever. Starting your freshman year in college, you should create a LinkedIn® profile and begin to develop your personal brand through blogging and/or social media to convey your professional and personal interests. LinkedIn allows you to connect with professors who have connections from their experience in the workplace. Connect with as many people as possible, because you never know where an opportunity may lie. Be cautious as you create your personal profile. You want to have a healthy balance of expression and professionalism as to not put off any potential employers. 

Step #2:  Gain relevant experience from internships. 

Internships are an important resume-building tool as they provide job training, connections for your network, and, if you’re lucky, a small salary.  

Step #3:  Find a mentor.

Potential internships and future job opportunities may come from the help of a mentor. Finding someone in your field to work with as a mentor opens doors for you that might otherwise be closed.

Step #4:  Use the resources available at your school’s career services office. 

Through the alumni network at your college, you have the opportunity be connected with an alum who works in your field of interest and may just be able to help you find a job. Those in career offices can also help you write your résumé and cover letter as well as prepare you for your interview.   

Finding a job after graduation is a daunting task, but by taking these steps as early as possible, you will have a head start on fellow graduates competing for the same jobs.

Is Off-campus Housing Right for You?

Most college students come to a point where they want to spread their wings and leave dorm life behind. The decision to move into off-campus housing can be stressful and confusing. Take a look at some of the things to consider as you make this decision.

How Much Will You Pay in Housing Expenses?

The idea that moving off-campus will save you money can be a little deceiving. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into when you sign your contract. Rent may seem cheap, but you also need to factor in an initial deposit, utilities, cable, internet, parking, furniture and appliances. Depending on how much your complex provides, these extraneous costs can be very expensive where dorm living could actually be cheaper. Additionally, be sure to check as to whether the contract you sign is for the entire year or just for the semesters you plan to attend at school. 

How Much Will I Have to Pay for Food?

When living in a dorm, you usually have a fixed payment, which includes meals three times a day and snacks as well. When you have your own apartment, what you eat will be up to you. Whether you grocery shop or eat out, what you spend is entirely up to you.

Will I Have Access to Campus Activities?

Dorm living offers unparalleled access to campus activities and university life. An apartment will undoubtedly provide more space and privacy, but you may have to work harder to stay connected to your school once you move further away. Dorm life also encourages you to get to know the students on your floor. Depending on how social your complex is, it may be tougher to make new friends, because you won’t see people as often as you did in the dorms.

If you’re ready to make the jump to off-campus housing, just do your research so there won’t be any surprises once you’re ready to sign a contract. 

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