Three things every entry-level candidate needs to know

For entry-level candidates, it is often difficult interviewing and getting to know what is expected out of them in their first career after college.  Here are three things every entry-level candidate needs to know.

You don’t know everything

While your college education or technical degree should have given you basic knowledge and understanding of your chosen career, you don’t know what it takes to make it and do your job effectively.  You don’t need to know everything and you aren’t expected to know everything. You are expected to learn, listen, and adapt to a new situation well enough to help make money for the company.  If you don’t become an asset to the company in the first ninety to one hundred eighty days, you won’t last long in your new job.

You must prove yourself, your degree is meaningless unless you can deliver.  If you are lazy and expect special treatment, you can expect to find another job.  You are replaceable.  If you don’t understand that everyone can be replaced, you could be in for a rude awakening.

Be on time, show up ready to work, there are no excuses

You must be on time, there are no excuses.  You must be ready to work when you arrive.  People will be late from time to time, trains and be delayed, cars and break down, and the Chicago traffic can even frustrate the Dali Lama into having road rage.  But, you must be on time.  Give yourself plenty of time to make it to work early.

During the work week, don’t go out with buddies and stay out so late that you are rolling in at 2am in the morning when you have to be at work at 7am.  This isn’t college, this is work. Companies are paying you, you aren’t paying them.  It’s time to become an adult and behave as one. If you can’t don’t expect to have a great career until you can.

Show up ready to work, that means no checking texts, Facebook, or reading the newspaper on their time do it on your breaks or at lunch.  Don’t waste your companies time, you are there to work, you aren’t there to play games on your phone.

Your Boss is not your Friend

Your boss is your boss, he/she is not your friend.  You aren’t drinking buddies or besties.  You aren’t expected to get personal with them, or share personal things with them.  You must maintain your professionalism at all times.  Blurring the lines between your private and work life can create issues.  Again, you are friends you are an employee don’t blur the lines at your new career.

Avoid getting to close with people.  It is fine to make friends and have fun after work with coworkers, but keep your professionalism up.  Especially in your first six months to a year.

Expect a few bumps on the road your first six months to a year on the new job, but over a course of a life time expect some bruises and scrapes as well.  As you build a career, the important lessons only come through experience.  Learn to roll with the punches, and keep moving forward.

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