ICUNJ Helps Students Navigate New Paths Upon Graduation

Apr 17, 2024

Congratulations to students preparing their final papers, prepping for their last exams and completing senior projects. The investment in earning a college degree begins to yield results as you transition to the first steps on a path to a career or advanced education.

One of the first things to recognize is that the learning is not over when you walk across the stage and receive a diploma but beginning anew for work and life. Starting a new job is both exciting and daunting. So many new faces, rules of engagement, logistics, and levels of responsibility and accountability. What should you expect in those initial days, weeks and months? What does your company expect from you and what should you expect from them? How can you get started on the right path?

Joshua Herrigel, CohnReznick, recently shared some ideas for acclimating to a career job.

IDENTIFY A BUDDY – A buddy is someone you are comfortable with allowing you to ask for help about the job and company basics. If the company pairs you with an employee take advantage of the resource because it is their job to help incoming employees – you are not an inconvenience. A buddy is different from a mentor who serves as an experienced and trusted advisor over time.

ASK QUESTIONS – No new employee is expected to know everything about the job or company. They expect you to ask questions when you are unsure rather than spend time going down the wrong path. Take notes so that you do not need to repeat questions. Hint – Never leave your desk without a pen and piece of paper.

DEMONSTRATE A WILLINGNESS TO LEARN – Asking questions, accepting challenges, participating in projects all identify you as an employee ready to learn. It is a valuable quality that sets a new employee apart from the crowd. Learn more than your specific job – learn how your job contributes to company outcomes.

“HARD WORK BEATS TALENT WHEN TALENT DOES NOT WORK HARD” – You have been hired to contribute to the company with the knowledge, skills and talents you have and the promise you show for growth over time. Do not be intimated by the person you perceive to be smarter or better at something. Apply yourself and your unique skills every day, remain positive, accept feedback, and work collaboratively.



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