Career Advice for Job Seekers

Entry Level Jobs 101: What You Need to Know for Career Success

William Frierson AvatarWilliam Frierson
August 7, 2015

real people at the office. female employee on duty.

Real people at the office. Female employee on duty. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

As a recent graduate, applying and interviewing for entry level jobs is the main focus of building your career. These positions provide an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you acquired in college and become an expert in your industry.

Starting your first official job in the real world is different than working an internship and can be tricky to navigate at times. Here are a few tips to help you excel at the position and work your way up to a promotion:

Building a Rapport with Co-Workers

When you are first getting settled in at an entry level job, take a look around the office and evaluate the interaction among your co-workers. How does everyone prefer to communicate? In person, by email, by instant message? It is also important to evaluate the relationships and interaction among co-workers. For example, does each department have lunch together, or is everyone encouraged to interact among one another? Take some time to observe the interaction among co-workers in the office. This will help you to learn about everyone’s personality and style and to build connections with your co-workers.

Communication with Your Manager

How does your manager prefer to communicate? Are there weekly or monthly check-ins where you discuss the status of projects and any problems you may be having, or do they prefer to talk every day? In addition to learning about how your manager prefers to interact regarding projects and deadlines, it is also important to observe your manager’s personality. Are they an introvert or an extrovert? This information will help you to approach them and discuss projects in a way that is beneficial to both of you.

Company Culture

Does your company schedule team outings for co-worker bonding? Do you go to networking events for the Chamber of Commerce or support a local business in the area? It is important to familiarize yourself with company culture in order to spend time outside of the office learning about your co-workers likes and interests.

Long-Term Career Plan

While it is vital to excel in the best way possible at your entry level job, it is also important to think about your long-term career goals as well. Many entry level jobs will set you up for long-term career success and help you to develop skills that are important for more senior positions within the company. It’s never too early to think about your aspirations and what you want to achieve and build a plan around this. Some companies have a plan in place that can help you pursue a particular career path as well.

No matter what happens, remember to take a deep breath and enjoy. Your entry level position will teach you many valuable hard skills and soft skills that will set you up for future career growth and success.

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