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So you’ve got your offer letter, and you’re excited about starting your new job in a few weeks. Time to take it easy? Maybe a little. But don’t kick back completely. There’s follow-up work to be done.
Just as you should never assume the sale is closed, the same is true about your job. Even though you have your offer, it’s really the beginning of proving yourself in your new career. Whether you decide to work for a large corporation, a small company, or start your own business, it all starts right here.
Classroom challenges are different from corporate challenges.
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The first thing to realize is that the corporate world is very different from the classroom. For starters, everything will not be mapped out for you in a syllabus with predetermined reading, homework, and final exams. If you think you’re busy now while you are in school, wait until you start working! At work, everything is due “yesterday,” so it’s up to you to prioritize what you need to get done.Alexandra Levit, The Don’t Teach Corporate in College: A Twenty-Something’s Guide to the Business World (Franklin Lakes, NJ: Career Press, 2009), 134. There are no tests, but you are being tested everyday. You don’t get a report card or grades; you get a performance review that provides a platform for feedback and self-improvement as well as a record of your performance for the company.Dawn Rosenberg McKay, “From College Campus to Corporate Climate: How to Make the Transition to Your First Job after College Graduation,” About.com, http://careerplanning.about.com/cs/firstjob/a/post_grad.htm (accessed November 23, 2009). And even if you’ve had a job while you were in school, there’s more expected of you as a full-time employee than as an intern or part-time employee.Dawn Rosenberg McKay, “Your First Job: Making a Good Impression,” About.com, http://careerplanning.about.com/cs/firstjob/a/first_job.htm (accessed November 24, 2009).After all, it’s no longer about you; it’s about how your performance impacts the company’s results.Dawn Rosenberg McKay, “From College Campus to Corporate Climate: How to Make the Transition to Your First Job after College Graduation,” About.com, http://careerplanning.about.com/cs/firstjob/a/post_grad.htm (accessed November 23, 2009). Welcome to the “real world.”
Starting strong is important in any job. The first ninety days can make the difference in how well you do at your job, so do your follow-up from your job interviews before you even start working. It will not only give you a head start; it can make the difference about how well you do at the company.Andy Wang, “The First 90 Days,” Forbes, September 7, 2006, http://www.forbes.com/2006/09/06/leadership-pink-careers-cx_ag_0906ninetydays.html (accessed November 25, 2009).
Here are five things you should do before you start your new job.
Impress Your New Boss
You already sent your thank-you note to the people with whom you interviewed and have just accepted your offer. What’s next? It’s a good idea to send a handwritten note to your new boss and tell her how much you are looking forward to working with her. It’s the perfect way to make a good first impression before you even start your new job.
Your first few weeks on the job will be a whirlwind. You will meet lots of people, and it will be difficult to remember anyone’s name, title, or function. It takes a while to adjust and fit in at any company. Remember how it felt when you were a freshman? By the time you became a sophomore, you knew a lot of people, and you knew the ropes. The same thing happens at a job. There’s no magic time frame to adjust to a new job; everyone is different. It’s good to know that you’re not alone and that adjusting to your new job just takes time—and commitment.Dawn Rosenberg McKay, “Starting a New Job: Fitting In,” About.com, http://careerplanning.about.com/od/newjobfirstjob/New_Job_First_Job.htm (accessed November 24, 2009). Here are five tips to help you get your feet on the ground at your new job.
Now, it’s time to relax, enjoy, and start this next chapter in your life.