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What You Need to Know to Succeed at Your First Job

As a junior talent recruiter, many people I work with are starting their first corporate job. Launching a career can be daunting, and this is especially true when it is your first job after graduation. I have learned that knowing what you may be up against is half the battle. Understanding the challenges you may face will help prepare you for your first job.

The first big challenge when starting a new job is the amount of time it takes to get up to speed and feel like you are contributing to your team. As I see it, the jobs worth having usually have a significant learning curve. If you are able to figure out a role quickly, you may get bored quickly as well. If the job is meant to be the start of a long-term career, there may be a long runway before you have enough knowledge to add value. Be ready for this and patient with yourself as you learn your new job. Remind yourself that it takes time to learn and be able to make a difference.

Blog__What you need to know at your first job

Navigating the corporate culture can also be a challenge. Every company manages process in its own way. Understanding the organization you are working with will take time, but you can gather information from your colleagues to guide you. Ask questions about best practices and how your team measures success. Do research on the organization and its values. What is the company known for? With this information, you will have a better understanding of how the organization functions and should be able to see how your work aligns with company goals.

Building strong relationships can be especially challenging. Some relationships develop quickly, while others take time. Investing time in getting to know your coworkers will help you both personally and professionally. People often find that they enjoy their role more if they connect with their coworkers. Strong relationships will also give you the ability to have open and honest conversations with those you work with. If you trust and are trusted by your coworkers, your job will be easier.

One recommendation that was made to me early in my career was to sit down with each member of my team and ask them about their career path and how they got to where they are today. Ask how they approach their role and the best way for you to communicate with them. Ask about their family and what they do outside of work. This will allow you to learn how you can work with them in the future and get to know them on a personal level.

Finding a mentor who will guide you through the transition into your first role can help you meet some of these challenges. Mentors can be valuable at any point in your career, but they can be especially impactful when you first start out. This is why we have included a mentor within our Genesis10 junior-level talent programs. This mentor will help you navigate the corporate culture and provide insight into the personalities on your team. They are also available to answer questions with the goal of helping you accelerate through the learning-curve stage of your new role.

If you are interested in learning more, feel free to check out our Junior Talent Programs – G10 Associates (College-Hire) Program and the Genesis10 Dev10 (Entry-Level Software Developer Training) Program.

Also see Danielle’s blog, How to Get a Software Developer Job with No Experience

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