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The school year is nearly complete and many college graduates will be entering the workforce.

The transition from college to work can be very stressful, mainly due to the number of changes that a first time employee encounters. Being prepared and knowing what to expect can help to alleviate a lot of the anxiety. Here are a few tips to help new employees prepare for this transition.

Most employers will provide you with an employee handbook. You can even ask to receive the handbook prior to your start date, allowing you some time to answer the basic questions before starting.

Hopefully your employer will have an on-boarding plan prepared and ready to share with you that will give you the chance to get right down to work. If not, you may ask your supervisor to sit down with you and set some short term and long term goals for your position.

Look for opportunities to get involved in activities with co-workers outside of general job duties, such as lunch dates or after-hours activities. Just be careful not to wear out your welcome or allow yourself to act unprofessional in the company of your co-workers. Don't schedule oil changes, hair cuts or things that could vary in time and exceed your lunch break. It is very important that you are compliant with work hours the first couple of weeks, especially until you know if flexible work hours are a part of your office's culture.

Obviously, dressing appropriately is important. If you are questioning something you have decided to wear, you should probably change. You will be more comfortable and confident if you don't have to worry about your appearance. Also avoid decorating your office with pictures that portray you in an unprofessional manner.

In most cases, you will be entering the organization at an entry-level position. This means that you'll have to prove yourself to advance and earn the respect of your peers. Here are 10 tips to help set realistic expectations and gain respect:

1. Keep a positive attitude.

2. Remember you're never to important to be helpful.

3. Realize that you will have to do tasks that are not in your job description.

4. Don't be afraid to ask for help admitting what you don't know is more important that showing what you do.

5. Find a mentor.

6. Continue to learn and take training seriously.

7. Learn to work in teams.

8. Avoid doing or writing anything that could be misinterpreted pay particular attention to e-mail and IM.

9. Establish written goals with your supervisor.

10. Strategically market your success make sure people know what you've accomplished, but don't be boastful.

For more information or to ask a specific question regarding first time employment, contact by e-mail:

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