Tips for Recent Graduates Trying to Land Their First Corporate Gig

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Nov 30, 2020

Nov 30, 2020 • by Rebecca Smith

Fulfilling all of your educational requirements is tough enough especially with students having jobs to keep student debt at bay. Less than half of recent college grads get a job right after graduating. Around 47 percent of graduates land a job relatively quickly while others might need to take lesser jobs to survive. It is not uncommon to see a recent college grad working a service industry job to make ends meet until they are given a corporate job opportunity. Below are tips that will help you land that first corporate job so you can start your career on the right foot. 

Questions Are Important 

Asking questions during the interview process is important as you want to make sure the job is a good fit. An interviewee might be afraid to ask about compensation although this is the true reason they are working. Do not be embarrassed to ask questions as you want to get the best picture of how a company operates as possible. Asking about the structure of the company and who you will be accountable to is important. Certain companies have a disorganized structure that can make it difficult to thrive as a new hire. Processes will make more sense during your first few days if you ask the right questions. 

Build a Reputation for Working Hard 

Working hard is something that too many people do not understand. Putting in long hours does not always mean that you are working hard as you could be going through the motions. Earning a great reputation for being one of the hardest workers at the company will take consistency. Being the first one in the office and the last to leave will be noticed by managers/coworkers. Mistakes that happen during your start at the job are likely to be brushed under the table. An employee that doesn’t work hard will be reprimanded in a way that hard workers would not be. 

Network When You Can 

Networking is important as you might be able to build connections that help you land your dream job down the road. A dream job will not wait until you are unemployed to open up so keeping an eye out is essential. 53% of all graduates leave their first job in less than a year according to the US Department of Labor Statistics. Local meetups can be invaluable as you engrain yourself in the local industry you work in. These meetups can be great but do not go in there desperate as it could tarnish your professional reputation. 

Organization is Essential

College is far different than the professional world as you likely had quite a bit of free time. 9 to 5 work requirements will take a modification of lifestyle whether it is going to bed early or staying in on a certain night. You could be taking on more than 8 hours per day to help climb the corporate ladder at your new job. You want balance in your life so setting a schedule is important so you can organize your time between personal and professional obligations. 

Continually Learn New Skills 

Learning new skills while you are employed can make you a far more attractive hire if you decide to look elsewhere for opportunities. Companies love professionals that continually learn new skills as it makes them more versatile than they were in the past. Companies look at employees as investments and learning new skills increases your value as an investment. A few skills that can improve your career immensely include taking a public speaking course or learning a new language. 

Start Searching for a Mentor 

Mentors are important to find as you do not always want to discuss your professional concerns with coworkers. Coworkers could use this information to further their career in the worst cases. Friends are an option but might show disinterest if you work in a field they are not knowledgeable about. Everyone from CEOs to recent grads can benefit from bouncing ideas off of so start looking into getting a mentor. 

Do Not Be Afraid to Leave for a New Opportunity 

Being offered a great job can be a tough choice as you do not know if it will work out. You might be comfortable at your current company but understand there is very little in terms of mobility to move to the top. An increase in pay should be noted as well as this can change your quality of life. Once you have written out the pros and cons, you will have a much better feeling about the choice you will make. 

Starting Out 

Starting out it is important to get used to the grind of working long hours. Adjusting during this period can allow you to turn into an employee that all companies would love to hire. The professional world can be rewarding if you put your best effort in consistently.