So, you just graduated from college, and you have the longed for degree, so now what? Well, it is time to get your first real job. The one that will mark the beginning of a long term work relationship or be a great stepping-stone to a fabulous career.

Of course, if you were going to college for a specific career such as accounting, medicine or law, you will naturally want to choose one of those areas for your first job. If you choose the law, most new lawyers have plans set before they graduate. Either they are planning on going back to their home town to join a practice or they are setting out their own shingle. Often, large firms have already had the new lawyers in their offices as interns and are now ready to offer a more permanent position.

Wherever your new position is located, you will need to follow the same general rules as for any other job. You need to keep in mind that this is a great opportunity and the impression you make will determine if you are given more. You need to be sure that you are considered an asset to the company. While you certainly need to exhibit confidence in your new abilities, be careful that you do not over do it. You need to remember that you still have a lot to learn and the other employees, from the most senior member of the firm to the most junior member of the secretarial staff have more experience in the office that you do. They know about the inner workings of the office. If you really want to be successful, you will keep in mind that these people are going to be your true teachers. You need to be respectful and learn everything you can.

Be nice to everyone; express an interest in everyone in the office. Make an effort to remember their names and make a point to great them with a smile each morning. You need for these people to want to help you; you do not want to alienate them with a poor attitude. Learn exactly what is expected of you. It is also important to know what you should not do. Pay attention and be sure that you are not making someone else’s job more difficult.

Be careful not to offer criticism. You have not been there long enough to how or why certain things are done the way they are. Giving your opinion too quickly may only serve to alienate people you would rather have as allies. Every workplace has unwritten rules. You need to discover what they are as quickly as possible and follow them carefully, they are usually attached to the more powerful people in the office and you certainly do not want to get on anyone’s bad side.

There are two important tips to remember when you are entering any workplace. The first being “pay attention”. It will be to your advantage to learn how the office functions as quickly as possible. And the second “treat everyone with respect”. You will soon discover that your success depends on everyone, even the janitor and the doorman.

Author's Bio: 

David Couper is a career coach and writer who for the last twenty years has worked in Europe, Asia, and in the USA with major organizations including the BBC, Fuji Television, Mattel, Sony, and Warner Bros.

He has successfully coached individuals at all levels including CEOs of major companies wanting a new challenge, frustrated souls wanting to make their dream come true, and front-line employees laid off and desperate to get a job.

David has published seven books. His works on interpersonal skills, counseling in the workplace, and management issues (published by Connaught, Gower, HRD Press, Longman, Macmillan/Pearson Publishing, Oxford University Press) have been translated into Swedish, Polish, and Danish, and published in the UK and the USA.

David has a degree in Communication, a postgraduate qualification in education, is certified in a number of training technologies, and has a Masters in Psychology. He is a member of the American Society of Training and Development, Society of Human Resources Professional, Writers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television.

He has dual US/UK citizenship and speaks French and Japanese.

Additional Resources covering Career Change can be found at:

Website Directory for Career Change

Articles on Career Change

Products for Career Change

Discussion Board

David Couper, the Official Guide To Career Change