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New Job, First Job ... Do It Right!


This is the time of year when many new graduates are out looking for their first job.  Fresh out of university they will have a wide range of expectations … from wanting to change the world, to getting a pay cheque.  They will also be in various states of readiness for this big adventure … but generally speaking they will all have a lot to learn.

Over the years I have written a few entries on this subject, so it seemed like a good time to dig them out, dust them off and provide some advice to people embarking on a new job … whether it is a first job or just the “next job”.

One of my earliest blogs about this was titled …New to the Workforce, 10 Rules!  this one is memorable for a couple of reasons (a) there is some sound advice based on many years of experience; and (b) there is a picture of me in my old Navy uniform.

A second entry was based on the book Dumbing Down Our Kids, and I called it More Advice for New Entrants to the Workforce.   Its a little dated in some detail, but the general principles are good … and it tries to moderate expectations to be in line with reality, rather than the very high expectations many new grads might have.  It might also be very relevant given the fact many companies are just recovering from a severe recession, and unlikely to be handing out major salaries and benefits to unproven workers.

Finally, I wrote a book review about a book called The Rules of work… which I would suggest as required reading for anyone setting out on a new career.  Once again it tries to set realistic expectations, but also prepare the new employee with some ideas about how to act, how to dress etc.

That first job out of school can be so important in setting the new worker up for success, it only makes sense to be as prepared as possible for it.  So it seems to make sense to do a  little homework … so if you know a new grad, point them at this stuff, it can’t hurt!