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Hands were shaken, diploma was received, tassel was moved, pictures were taken, cap was tossed and cake was eaten. The day you worked four (or five, or six) years for was over in lightning speed and now it seems like forever ago — am I right?   Whether you transitioned into your new job the Monday after graduation, will begin your new position soon, or are still seeking employment, you have (or will have) a first job post-graduation. So, here are five “easy” ways to succeed in your first job out of college.

  1. Introduce Yourself

It’s relatively easy to get to know people in college with all the structured orientations and ice breakers, but in your first job, activities like this will most likely not be included on your first day. Be sure to be friendly. Introduce yourself. Smile. Keep in mind these people already saw something in you – that’s why you were hired! Carry that confidence with you as you begin meeting new co-workers and slowly building relationships. Schedule lunches with colleagues, grab coffee with your boss and reach out to others in your company who may be able to offer you advice on how to succeed in your new role. Don’t wait to build your network. Take advantage of every opportunity to do so within your new organization.


  1. Work Hard

After choosing your own schedule for the past several years, know that you typically do not have this luxury in “the real world”. So, set those multiple iPhone alarms now! Arriving early is an excellent way to stand out and succeed in your new role. Beyond being punctual, be sure to volunteer for anything you can within your new company or organization. Let others know you are willing to go above and beyond and be a true team player.


  1. Maintain a Good Work-Life Balance

…something you probably haven’t thought much about yet. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of working late, not getting enough sleep and eating poorly during that first job post-college, so take care of yourself! Plan time for fun, don’t deprive yourself of sleep (even though you did countless times in college) and take this time in your life to begin learning how to cook healthy meals – you’ll definitely thank yourself later! A little Food Network never hurt anyone (and cooking your own meals can help save some major $!)


  1. Be Professional

Don’t let your unprofessionalism cost you your first job. From communication, to attitude, to dress, be sure to project an overall sense of professionalism on the job. Being professional means avoiding office drama or gossip, leaving text message lingo out of office emails or written correspondence, and dressing in a way that meets the company dress code. Round up those coupons you keep receiving in your inbox and invest in some quality, professional clothing. Need some inspiration on what to buy or what to wear? Check out the UGA Career Center’s Business Attire Pinterest Board: http://www.pinterest.com/ugacareercenter/business-attire/


  1. Find a Way to Stand Out

Ask yourself, “What do I want to be known for?” Do you have a niche? Are you someone everyone knows they can come to for encouragement? Have you noticed something within the company or organization that could be improved by a new initiative? Don’t be afraid to stand out and let your ideas and talents be known!