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What you need to know about transitioning from college to work

Posted by Sarah Davis on April 5, 2016
Digital marketing training

Gulp: it's your first day on your first full time job as a digital marketer. This is the career you've been waiting for. You're ready to soar in your new job, but how can you make your transition from school to work as smooth as possible?

Show Up

Do you remember those mornings when you were too tired to function properly in class because you'd worked or partied the night before? When you have a new job, you're responsible for showing up. This doesn't just mean that you're there from 9 to 5, although it's important to be prompt. This means that you're completely mentally there, well-rested and ready to tackle the challenges of your new position. Take care of yourself, and you can operate at your peak.

Expect a Transition, But Be Prepared

Your new boss knows that you'll have to spend some time learning how to do your job. However, the faster you can become proficient at your job, the better for you and your employer. You've been hired for your skills and your potential. In your first weeks, spend time familiarizing yourself with your job. Ask questions, and ask for resources. Spend extra time in the first few weeks, and you'll set yourself up for long-term success.

Prioritize Your Work

In your new position, you may have more ability to control your workflow than you did when you were in school, struggling to meet deadlines. With flexibility comes the challenge of prioritizing. Strive to understand your job.

  • How does your specific position contribute to your company?
  • What are the company's goals, and what work do you do that directly contributes to them?
  • What can you do to make your boss, or even your boss's boss successful?

Pinpoint the areas that are most important and over time, look for areas of potential growth within your job that could help your company grow as well. Use this understanding to prioritize your daily, weekly, and monthly work.

Be Responsible

Don't be afraid to take on job responsibilities, and leap at opportunities to stay on top of your field through continuing education. According to Live Career, "When you have downtime or a wide-open schedule, ask your boss what other projects need extra help. Or, if you're familiar with other coworkers' projects, offer to pitch in." People seldom want to ask for help, but if you offer to assist them, they'll start to appreciate what you do. Make sure that your offer to help your colleagues targets their specific needs.

Digital marketing training

Get ready to learn, ask for help, and help others.

Meet and Greet

Your job is like a perpetual group project, and you need to get to know those on your team. In your first weeks on the job, make an effort not only to meet your colleagues but understand them. Learn about their families, and learn about their jobs. How do your positions intersect? As a digital marketing expert, you're responsible for supporting the work of the entire company. Understand what you can do to make their job easier. As your relationship with your colleagues grows, ask questions and see what you can give to them. Equip them with knowledge of digital marketing, and they'll be able to understand how their work relates to yours.

Do What You Dislike

Isn't it counterintuitive to do what you dislike? Yes and no: if you only do what you feel happy and confident doing, you won't grow into competence in the areas that make you feel afraid. You don't need to spend your entire career or your entire workday doing what you dislike. However, if an opportunity comes up to participate in a presentation and this makes you nervous, jump at the opportunity. Prepare well, give it your best, and learn how to do the things that you're afraid to tackle.

Get Feedback

Be intentional about getting feedback about your job performance. A few weeks into your job, make an appointment to get feedback about how you're doing in your position. Ask questions focused on your performance and ask about resources to help you grow. According to Forbes, you should also "share your own goals (and even suggestions!) for the future with your boss." Help shape your position, and you help shape your company, setting yourself up for advancement in the future.

Are you transitioning from digital marketing training into a digital marketing career? If you're looking for a marketing job or hoping to transition into the field of marketing, download the ebook Nailing the Job Hunt: Becoming a Marketer by Marketing Yourself.

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Topics: For Recent Grads