Making the Most of Your Entry-Level Job

It doesn’t matter whether you have a doctorate, an associate’s, or are just beginning your higher education. Our careers all get their start in the same place: an entry-level job or internship.

But once you’ve gotten that job, how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of it and not just showing up to work everyday, working, and then leaving? The key is being open and ready to learn, not just to complete assignments. Here are the 5 best tips to getting more than just another line on your resume out of your first job.

Put no work beneath you


When you land your first internship or entry-level job, it’s natural to feel that you’ve made it big. But that doesn’t mean you’re too good to do certain tasks. Realize that filing, assisting, and runner duties are a common way for companies to gauge your enthusiasm, and that having the right attitude can go a long way in making your impression on coworkers.

Ask questions


Asking questions will not only increase the rate at which you learn about your company and your field, but it will show supervisors that you’re truly interested. Come to work each day with 3-5 solid questions (anything that requires more than a “yes” or “no” answer) and don’t be afraid to clarify instructions when you get assignments. It beats having to redo them because you misheard one step.

Plan your next steps


As you begin to learn more about the hierarchy within your company and industry, begin to ask coworkers about the paths they took to getting where they are now. Then, start to analyze where your personality, experience, and education fit into all of this and begin to plan your next step to getting into your dream job, area of education, or career field.

Take notes on what you’re doing


Your time at your first job can fly by. So when it’s all over, it can be difficult to recall everything you did while working when it comes time to update your resume. Make sure that with every new task you take on you are taking detailed notes of what you’re doing, what skills you’re acquiring, and what keywords you’re hearing.

Never say “no”


Beyond just assignments, it’s good policy to never turn down an opportunity to sit in on a meeting or join coworkers for lunch. Networking and hands-on experience are some of the biggest things a first job can offer you, and you’ll find that it isn’t really possible to suceed without putting yourself out there.

Find ACI on Twitter at @ACISpecBenefits or on facebook, Google+, Pinterest, or YouTube. Also feel free to contact ACI Specialty Benefits at (800) 932-0034, or email

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About ACI Specialty Benefits

ACI Specialty Benefits ranks in the nation’s Top-Ten providers of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), corporate wellness programs, student assistance, corporate concierge, and work/life services to corporations worldwide. ACI partners with clients to Perk Up employee engagement and performance with benefit programs that improve morale, productivity and the bottom-line. With a 95% customer retention rate and over 7 million lives covered. ACI remains a privately-owned specialty benefits corporation, headquartered in San Diego. For more information, visit or call 800.932.0034.
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