It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, I’m not talking about a certain red and green holiday, I’m talking about graduation! Earning your college degree, decorating your cap, walking across the giant stage, taking countless photos with your friends and family, the crippling anxiety of starting your first real-world job…okay, maybe that part wasn’t so great.
Going from college life to the real-world can be tough. There should really be a “What to Expect When You’re Expecting Your First Job” book on the shelf. Personally, I was a mixed bag of emotions when it was time for graduation. While I was excited to see what this new chapter had in store for me, I was absolutely terrified about what being a “real adult” actually meant.
I’ll let you in on a little secret – I didn’t have a job right out of college. It took me three months post-grad to find an internship in this industry (thank you, Dittoe PR). If you find yourself in a similar position, it is okay! You’ve got this.
Whether you’re still in college and planning ahead for graduation or you’re a recent grad still looking for the perfect fit, with these four tips in mind, you’ll be a #PRpro come your first day of work.
Create a 90-day plan.
90 days might seem like a lifetime, especially when you’re starting your first post-grad job. However, the first 90 days are crucial to both you and your employer. By planning out your goals for the first 30, 60 and 90 days on the job, you’ll have created your own vision of what success looks like in your role.
Include smaller goals within your first 30 days, such as getting to know your co-workers or understanding your company’s vision. By 90 days, your goals can shift – how will you step up in your new role during this period? With goals set and visions in mind, you’ll be able to track your progress every step of the way. Thinking in the short-term keeps long-term stress at bay and makes everything a little more manageable.
Fun fact: At Dittoe PR, our fabulous office perks (half-day work from home, flex hours and unlimited vacation) start at 90 days!
As PR pros, we’ve got a myriad of tools to help us throughout the day. Take some time between graduation and your first day to familiarize yourself with a few of PR’s most beloved measurement tools such as Critical Mention or Cision. You could even take a few weeks and earn your certification in Google Analytics – you know your PR professor would want you to!
Try to learn a few additional skills that will help you stand apart from your peers, too. Consider navigating through a design site such as Canva or teaching yourself Adobe Photoshop. You might not have needed these to land the job, but they’ll certainly come in handy throughout your career and show your employer that your love of learning did not end with your diploma.
Research. Research. Research.
You probably (hopefully) looked into your new company prior to your initial interview. However, just because you’ve been hired doesn’t mean you should stop researching your new digs. Prior to your first day, be aware of your company’s mission, their current clients and what they’re all about. This will no doubt impress your new leaders during the orientation and onboarding process.
Dig through the company’s “about us” tab for a glimpse into the organization. If the company has a blog section on the website, read a few of the recent posts to gain additional insight into their work culture before you step in on your first day. You should also follow the company on any and all social media platforms, engaging with their content to better understand just who you’ll be working with on a daily basis.
Live it up.
You’re hired. You just got your first post-grad job, so enjoy it! Bask in this moment – a college degree took you three, four, maybe even ten years. Celebrate your incredible accomplishment with friends and family before your first day on the job. Your loved ones will be sure to help boost your confidence and spark your joy prior to starting your career. In short, it’s okay to be proud of yourself! I promise.
Now, as they say in cliché movies and TV shows, go get ‘em tiger!
Interested in becoming a PR pro with Dittoe PR? We are always accepting applications for consideration. Send your personalized cover letter, resume with references and writing samples to Greta Snell at firstname.lastname@example.org.