You have got the job! You made it through all the interviews and your foot is firmly on that first rung of the career ladder.
Now that you have achieved your first big goal, what's next? You have to learn how to successfully make the transition from student to member of the corporate world. Here are some tips that will help you:
1. Be observant
The first step to making a smooth transition into your new role is to observe how the people around you work and interact.
Every organisation has its own unique culture and the workplace requires a different set of skills from the university or polytechnic.
By taking the time to observe how others operate, you will have an understanding of how things work in your new environment and you will be able to make a great impression.
2. Build a network
Never underestimate the importance of building relationships and the positive impact this will have on your work situation.
You will feel more comfortable asking difficult questions and getting advice from colleagues you have a comfortable relationship with and this will contribute to your success in your new role.
3. Get feedback
As you learn more, ask for feedback from people around you, especially your manager. It is never too early to learn the skill of "managing upwards".
Put simply, this means keeping a good flow of communication between you and your manager, asking for feedback and keeping him informed of your progress on tasks before he has to ask you.
4. Work smart
A classic mistake many new employees make is to work themselves into the ground, believing that this is the best way to impress their colleagues and supervisors.
In reality, you will make a better impression by working smarter, rather than working harder.
Resist the temptation to work from home or put in longer hours just to make an impression.
By doing this, you will run the risk of raising your manager's expectations of what you can reasonably achieve.
5. Show initiative
A great skill and an easy one to develop is to approach your manager with solutions rather than problems. When you need to go to your manager with a challenge you are facing, get into the habit of always having a solution in mind.
By requesting their approval on a solution, you respect their authority and involve them in the decision, but you also make their job easier while showing your initiative.
6. Find a mentor
Another thing that will help you to get ahead is finding yourself a mentor. Consider what you are looking for in a mentor and then approach the person of your choice. This may be a little daunting, but your chosen person is likely to be flattered and unlikely to turn you down. Alternatively, you may find a mentor relationship which progresses quite naturally after you have been in your job for a while.
A mentoring relationship is invaluable when you are starting your career. You will have an experienced sounding board to assist you with problems and celebrate your achievements.
No matter how small the challenge, your mentor will usually have experienced something similar before, and will be familiar with the trials and tribulations you experience on a day-to-day basis.
7. Keep the pressure off
Don't put too much pressure on yourself. The transition from studies to a career is exciting and challenging, but everyone makes mistakes along the way.
You don't need to be perfect to be successful, but you do need initiative, a willingness to learn and a desire to achieve.