Let’s go ahead and state a fact here: starting a new job is scary.
It’s even more scary when it’s your very first job fresh out of school. Work life is nothing like college life. You may not be able to take 3 naps a day anymore, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.
You may have heard about how important your network is and that is very true. In your first job, you want to make sure you are meeting the right people. Having the right set of people around you will 10x your learning and set you up for a future of success whether you choose to stay at your first company or not.
This one might be the most obvious.
A mentor at any job you end up in is so, so important. This can make or break your experience. Having someone at your company that can help champion your work and stand behind you as you grow is the most invaluable asset a person can ask for.
How do you find a mentor?
That, that is not so easy. I recommend getting to know as many people as you can when you first get started. Invite folks out for coffee and take on as many projects as you can. Be curious, ask people what they do, what they like, and what they don’t like. Remember this is your first job and you don’t know anything, it’s okay to ask questions. The more you branch out, the more likely you’ll find someone that you click with.
Everyone needs a friend at work to get you through the day. You need someone that you feel comfortable joking around with and someone to vent some of your stress too. This person will make coming to work more enjoyable, even on the most intense-action packed days.
Finding friends at work is easy for some and not so easy for others. Look for folks around your age and/or working at about the same level as you and head to a happy hour.
Side lesson: It is called HAPPY hour for a reason.
Bear with me on this one.
It is completely OK and even good, to meet someone at your first job that you really, REALLY don’t like. This means you are human (if you needed to check on that). It also means you are learning about yourself.
Learning about the people you don’t like to work with is just as important as learning about the one’s you do. Even more importantly, learning to work with people you don’t like will change your whole life.
Maybe these 3 people won’t come to you till your second or third job. Maybe only 1 or 2 will. Either way, these 3 people will add value to your life and help you on your path to success. So go out there, make friends, make enemies, and don’t forget to make memories.