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4 Ways College Grads Can Prepare for Their First Real Job The time between graduation and the first day of work is a crucial opportunity to get ready for the rest of your life.

By Eddy Ricci

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There is less than a month before graduates cross the stage and enter the real world. After four years of a pricey education and 12 years of preparation prior to their collegiate years, what can the next wave of workforce do within the next thirty days to position themselves for a successful career launch?

Graduates should spend the month thinking about who they need to get to know, what they need to learn about themselves and what the long and short term outcomes of their first career choice could be.

Use these four exercises to get your career off to a fast start. If you are an employer that has a few new hires coming onboard soon, maybe offer these transparent ideas to create the best experience for the new talent.

1. Connect before moving in.

Instead of studying for finals and then relaxing before your start date at your new and first career gig, start grabbing coffees and lunches with your future team members and boss. No matter how busy you think you are, a few lunches or coffees each week leading up to employment can go a long way. This will help you build relationships which leads to a higher degree of trust when a new employee comes on board.

Try to connect with you manager, team members and maybe even third party companies that your employer typically deals with.

2. Motivational manual.

Many employers are finding it hard to figure out how to motivate the millennial generation. Everyone wins when you are motivated. If you are a college senior, spend time over the next month reflecting on times in your life when you were highly motivated. What were the common themes? Were you motivated by money, recognition, independence, new learning or mastering a skill? During that time, how were you being coached? Who was helping you accomplish the goal? How did they effectively hold you accountable? What did your days look like, sleep patterns, food, etc.

If you can package up a guide on how to get the maximum effort from you and share that with your new boss, you will without question be heard in a noisy new talent pool.

3. Talk with people who used to work there.

Thanks to LinkedIn, you can do some searches of people that had your job prior to you and left the company. What a great person to connect with! You can learn why that person left and what they wish they knew before coming onboard. Take any negativity lightly, as you need to figure this out yourself.

This is also a relationship you can build in case you are looking for a new opportunity a few years out.

4. Win big/win some.

Figure out how you can "win big" if you stay with the company and learn how you can "win some" if you leave the company. It's rare that people stick with the same company for their 40-year career. Millennials tend to leave companies every two years or so. Before you join the company, while you have a clean slate, figure out what the "win big" opportunity may be if you dedicate your working years to one company. More importantly, figure out how this position, time and experience will help you if you leave the company.

Putting effort into your "pre-launch" can make your first gig a success that you can carry on for the rest of your career.

Eddy Ricci, CFP ® is a founder, author, leadership consultant, talent acquisition specialist and angel investor.   He empowers entrepreneurs, executives and professional service practitioners to upgrade their businesses, careers and lifestyles through leadership consulting, firm building and talent acquisition.  He is the author of The Growth Game: a millennials guide to professional development and Miss Money Plan and the battle against emotion, a superhero-themed financial literacy book for kids.    

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