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5 Simple Tips for Conquering Your First Job

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It’s time to make the transition between the never-ending fun you had in college and the harsh reality of the real world. You’ll be working a 9-to-5 job and won’t have the free time you used to.

Intimidated? Most of us are, but it isn’t as bad as you think. Follow these tips and learn the best ways to adjust to your first real job.

Get a job you love

While this may seem obvious, you’d be surprised by how few people do this. We’re often preoccupied by many considerations when choosing a career path: money, hours, work-life balance and more.

While the paycheck is important, pick something you’re passionate about. (Click here to tweet this thought.) Whether you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, an astronaut or a journalist — the world is your oyster. Just do it. Doing something you love won’t make work seem like work. If you’re not doing what you love right now, don’t sweat it –- we have advice about that, too.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

By all means, take your job seriously. Do your best work and hand it in on time. But never forget you’re in your early 20s and you’re just breaking into the industry. You have tons of mistakes to make, and you’re going to make them.

When you do make the inevitable slip-up at work, don’t stress too much about it. Your boss and coworkers will understand. No one expects the new hire to know how to do everything in one day. Breathe.

Set reasonable, achievable goals

Don’t go into work on the first day and expect to be the CEO by the end of the week. Setting goals for yourself is an important part of progress within a company. And let’s face it: Everyone wants that promotion — but be sensible.

Set small, time-sensitive goals to track your progress. Does your industry require a certain certification? Work towards that this month. Do you want to read an industry-related book? Get it done by next week. These goals may seem small, but remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Don’t forget to save time for you

When you start a new job, it’s often all you can think about; it’s exciting to start something new. If you want to go above and beyond outside of work, power to you. But if you’re the kind of person who’ll work your whole life away, take a step back every once in a while to relax.

It’s easy to get burnt out quickly, and everyone needs a day off every now and then. Don’t be afraid to take one.

Last, but not least…

We all know you’re in an overwhelming position: You’re ready to start your new life and career. Don’t forget to take a step back occasionally and evaluate your situation. Compare where you were yesterday to where you are today. You have a good head on your shoulders, and you’ll be successful if you put your mind to it.

Keep these ideas in mind and make your dreams a reality.

Kristen LeBeau is a May 2013 Penn State graduate with a degree in advertising. She currently resides in the Harrisburg Area and works as an Internet Marketing Specialist at WebpageFX.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

  • Charlie

    Can you explain to me the difference between the green m&m’s and the red ones?