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Introducing PayScale’s Guide to Early Career Success

Topics: Negotiation

First jobs are important. Not only do they provide your first real glimpse of your industry from the perspective of a paid professional, but they can set the tone for your career (and salary) for years to come. Of course, career paths zigzag, and it’s totally possible to bounce back from a soul-crushing first job and a lousy paycheck and move on to be a shining success – but wouldn’t it be nice to skip the whole underpaid, underappreciated thing, and move on to the good stuff? PayScale’s free Guide to Early Career Success offers expert advice to help you do just that.

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(Photo Credit: Trekking Rinjani/Flickr)

To help you start off right on the very first day of your very first job, the Guide to Early Career Success breaks down the process of building your career into three steps:

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Step 1: Explore

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s OK if you’re not sure. Chances are, you’ll ask yourself that question again and again in your career, and get different answers at different times. The goal today is to align your passion and skills with the best job for you, keep building your experience, and find meaning in your career.

Step 2: Get Hired

If you’ve recently graduated from college, you might be looking down the barrel of some pretty scary student loan debt. Don’t let your fear affect your decision-making process. Conduct your job hunt armed with data, understand your value in the job market, and negotiate a salary that’s right for you.

Step 3: Succeed

Your job, to some extent, belongs to the company, or at least serves their interest, but your career belongs to you. As you go through life, you’ll have to be on your own side, build relationships, and supplement your hard skills with soft ones, in order to continue to build the career you deserve.

To learn more, check out PayScale’s Guide to Early Career Success, and set the tone for a career that feeds your soul (as well as your bank account).

Tell Us What You Think

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career so far? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
Read more from Jen

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What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.