It’s almost been a year since I graduated and moved to the city! I will have to do a reflection post on my NYC one year anniversary, but since I know many students are graduating this month, I thought it would be fun to think back on getting my first job. I had eight internships in college, and thought I was VERY prepared for the working world; however, there’s a lot that I wish I had known before. Here are my top five things I wish I had known about getting a first job:
- The interview process is long and hard. That super long 30 minute internship interview you thought was tough is nothing compared to a job interview. Job interviews take WAY longer, and there are usually a few rounds of interviews before you actually get the offer. Be prepared to go through the entire process. You’ll get beefier questions, so make sure you know your skills and experience very well.
- You can ask for the money you want. So many people, like myself, go in with the mentality that you accept whatever you can get. Don’t settle. Just because you are a college student doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a decent amount of money. Especially living in NYC, you do have to be making a certain amount to live comfortably. Obviously, you have to be realistic, but do your research and know your worth.
- You’re still going to feel like an intern. One of the reasons I was excited to graduate was because I was so sick of feeling like an intern. I hate to break it to you, but chances are you’re still going to feel like one. You’re still at the bottom of the food chain and you’re still stuck with those assignments that no one wants to do. However, it is exciting to get interns of your own!
- You’re going to make mistakes and you have to own up to it. You can be a really good employee and super responsible, but chances are you will make a mistake every now and then. You can’t run away from your problems or make up excuses. You honestly might even get a stern talk from your boss. You can’t let this all get to you. You have to be ok with mistakes and own up to them, in order to move on and learn. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re not the first person to make a mistake at that company.
- Your future is up to you. No matter what job you decide on or that is offered to you, I am a strong believer of everything happens for a reason. Even if you didn’t get your dream job, or if you accepted a job that you’re not sure of, this will benefit you. You will learn and develop strong skills. You will grow! It’s all up to you and how you want to shape your experience.
After a year, you will see such a change. I really did! It’s exciting to be growing in your career and honestly, I’ve heard, the first year is the hardest. So…it only goes up from here! Hang in there and as silly as it sounds, try your best and you WILL be okay.