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June 5, 2014

10 Must-Do Tips To Ace Your First Job

Welcome to the real world.

lindsi lane career tips

Photo Credit: Lauren Sadkin

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Graduation has passed, you've gone on your last-hurrah trip with your best friends—it's time to get a job. As daunting as the prospect is, thanks to Lindsi Lane, Editor-in-Chief of Lindsi in the Fast Lane, a proclaimed entry-level guru, and Barneys New York's youngest ever personal shopper, it doesn't have to be. Here are ten of her top tips for making a big impression and starting off right at your first job.

1. Be on time.
It's a simple thing that goes a long way.

2. Make friends
Today's coworker could be tomorrow's boss. Maintaining a good relationship and not getting too competitive with your colleagues can be the key to success later on in your career.

3. Be communicative
You're the only one who knows what you want—you have to share that with industry influencersin order to get it. Lane says: "Like any good relationship, if you don't express your thoughts and concerns, don't expect anyone to read your mind!"

4. Stay in touch.
Just because you have a job now doesn't mean you should lose the networking contacts and connections you made in the past. Don't be shy—if they liked you then, they'll want to hear from you now. Be sure to email or even better, meet up with former bosses and co-workers to stay connected.

5. Absorb the environment
Every job is different and starting at a new company means there's a whole crop of new things for you to learn. Whether it's the best sandwich spot for lunch nearby or adapting to the office dress code,

6. Ask questions
You're an entry-level employee—you don't know everything (yet). Be like a sponge in your office, always seeking out new information and ready to learn. On that end, you're an entry-level employee—don't be a know-it-all. You'll get annoyed, not impressed, looks from coworkers.

7. Find a mentor.
Don't be stressed if this doesn't happen right away—"Finding someone to be your mentor doesn't happen overnight," Lane says. See whom you connect with in your workplace and when you feel comfortable, ask to speak with them privately and tell them about your admiration for their work, as well as your desires going forward.

8. Always be a step ahead
You were hired because your supervisor saw something in you. Now it's up to you to prove him or her right. Always be looking for what you can do to enhance your work. "If you have some good ideas, share them!" Lane says. "You're too creative to be bottled up!"

9. Show your enthusiasm
"Going into my bosses office to tell them how excited I was to be there and learn all I could was always the starting point to a solid work and personal relationship foundation," Lane says. If you're excited to be there, your supervisor will be excited to have you.

10. Just be nice.
When in doubt, be kind. Nothing will make a person want to work with you less than being rude, Lane says. "People will notice these qualities and quickly be turned off."


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