Career Advice for College Students: What to Do After Accepting a Job Offer

By Elizabeth Kolar, MBA, CPA, CGMA

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Whether you endured a grueling and extensive job search or were lucky enough to experience a smooth and relatively easy hiring process, there are few things more exciting than receiving that phone call or offer letter from your new employer, and graduating with a job offer in hand.

But there are a few things you need to consider before you kick your heels up and call it a day. To help you prepare for your new position and set yourself up for future success, assembled our top career tips for what to do after accepting a job offer.

Keep your grades up.

While you may feel a sense of relief knowing that you have a job opportunity waiting for you, the work is not over yet! It’s easy to think that just because you received an offer letter, that you don’t have to continue to work hard. If you start slacking and your future employer sees the slip, you may be headed for an uncomfortable first day at your job – or worse, you may not end up with the credits you need to sit for the CPA Exam. Many employers offer hefty bonuses for passing the exam prior to your start date. Not to mention, staying in study mode is key for when you begin your rigorous journey to get those three letters (CPA!) after your name.

Continue networking.

Whether you’ve already made your rounds on the networking scene or you’ve only taken advantage of a few opportunities, every day is a chance to grow your network with those who may become co-workers, mentors, or simply friends. Also, keep in touch with your classmates. Find out where they are going next – who knows, they could end up becoming clients or help you move forward in your career later down the line! Networking is work, but hard work pays off when you put in the time and effort.

Keep your social media in check.

While this was not necessarily a consideration in the past, it’s definitely something you need to be aware of as you venture into the professional world. Keep your social media accounts private if you don’t want others to see your activity. Make sure your social media reflects who you are and how you want to be perceived. Human resources or your hiring manager may view your public social media accounts and, although they shouldn’t base their overall opinion of you through your social media, it’s in their – and everyone else’s – human nature to form some sort of opinion based on what they perceive through your social presence. Err on the side of caution and keep those accounts reflective of your personal thoughts and values, and avoid posting anything that may garner negative or uncomfortable feelings from the standpoint of your new employer. Look at your accounts and ask yourself, “Would you hire you?”

Keep reading and keep learning.

Stay up to date with what’s going on with your new employer and the changing political/policy landscape. What many new hires don’t realize is how much altering laws and regulations can impact their day to day tasks and procedures. Stay in the mindset that learning does not stop when you leave college – and in reality, it may never stop as you advance in your career. You also want to begin developing your strategy for studying for and passing the CPA exam. (If you’re considering the CPA Exam but not sure if you should take it, watch this.) This includes researching review courses, understanding the exam format, figuring out how to apply for the exam and knowing what you will need to submit in order to be approved for your Notice To Schedule (NTS). In general, keep yourself in the habit of learning and staying thirsty for knowledge as you move beyond your formal schooling. Learn to consume valuable content that pertains to bigger national and global topics, and stay on top of current events and how they may affect those around you. The more you know, the better you will be able to perform in all aspects of your future job.

Jobs will come and go, but your career is an ever-changing journey that will require attention, hard work, and a strategic mindset. Set yourself up for success now by envisioning your goals for the future and make sure that what you’re doing now is contributing to what you want to do and achieve later down the road.

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