The first rule of thumb in the job force is to get a job.
Two weeks before graduating from college, there’s an intense amount of pressure to know exactly what you will be doing the day after you graduate. Will you be living a relaxed life and getting to enjoy your summer jet-setting the world or will you be like the other 90% of graduates searching for a full-time job to cover your student loans? For me, it was finding a full-time job and starting my career. Unfortunately, that was easier said than done. No one fully prepares you for the high anxiety and many sleepless nights you have with the immense pressure of getting a job. It doesn’t help when your friends are all accepting positions left and right and you have yet to receive one job interview. I probably had applied to over 15 positions before landing an interview at a place that didn’t place below a three on Glassdoor.
Just when I was getting down in the dumps of not being able to find a job, I got two job offers within six hours one day. At this point, I was less anxious about getting a job and more about deciding what was the right position for me. Pros and Cons lists are always a good way to start when deciding which job to choose. PTO and pay are high on most peoples’ lists but for me, it was all about the culture. If you are going to be working at the same job, 40 hours a week for many years to come, you are going to want to enjoy your co-workers. I was fortunate that one of the offers was from David James Group, a company that I had been interning at for the last year. For me, it was an obvious choice of what offer I would choose, but I still weighed my pros and cons. By the next day, I had accepted a position at DJG as an account coordinator that I felt best suited me both within the culture and other benefits as well. After signing and emailing my offer, all was quiet for a couple of weeks until the big packet of DJG’s information arrived in the mail.
The packet contained the components of my official employee information along with all tax documents. You know, the fun reading we all love to do on a Sunday afternoon. You would think after five years of filling out tax forms and employee forms you would get the hang of this sort of thing. But it still took me all day to figure out if I’m dependent or independent; how much taxes I want taken out each year; do I need health insurance etc.
Approaching my first day of work, I thought I would be fully ready, but boy was I wrong. I already was running late leaving my house to work as I had underestimated the traffic and then ran into construction miles before getting to work which set me back even more. I showed up five minutes late and prayed that I wasn’t off to a bad start. For me, the rest of my day was easy as I spent getting situated and figuring out the lay of the land. Even though I had interned at DJG last summer, it was still a bit of a transition going from intern to full-time employee.
Here are some tips that I wish I would’ve known as I was entering the job force:
- Apply anywhere you want BUT DO YOUR RESEARCH ON COMPANIES
- Don’t accept the first offer you get, wait and see what else comes along if you have time. You’d be surprised what happens in 12 hours
- Read over ALL documents you receive and make sure you are careful when filling out any employee/ tax forms
- Dress to impress… even if you’ve worked with the company before
- Leave early and arrive early. Never think you know better than the traffic. Traffic will always win.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take on new tasks
- ENJOY! This is the first day of the rest of your work career