How to Find Resources for First-Generation Professionals

Updated on 11/14/2022


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First-generation college students made up a large portion of first-generation professionals. But it goes beyond that. First-generation professionals, often known as "FGPs" or "class migrants," are described by the Harvard Business Review as "those who transition from working-class beginnings to white-collar employment."
Additionally, you might discover that institutions frequently advise students who are the first in their families to attend college. At the same time, graduating from college as a first-generation student is an enormous accomplishment and a sign of tenacity in a demanding academic environment. The first-generation experience doesn't stop there.

Recognizing first-generation professionals' identities

Institutional hurdles have historically made it challenging for first-generation professionals and their communities to complete college educations.
Colleges and universities have been aware of the unique difficulties first-generation students—those whose parents did not complete college—face for many years. Some initiatives welcome those students to campus early, provide tools for organized studying and academic support, and organize social gatherings for first-generation college students.
Employers are only now beginning to understand the difficulties first-generation workers face and the advantages of fostering an environment where they may succeed.
 Being a first-generation professional can also lead to feelings of pressure and obligation to open doors for other family or community members. Being a first-generation professional can have emotional implications, such as feelings of loneliness and imposter syndrome.

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Tips on succeeding at work

Unsurprisingly, joining the professional field might be extremely scary for someone who may not have a point of reference. 
If you are a first-generation professional, read on to learn how to fit in and build a support system so that you can not only feel at home in your surroundings but also learn to thrive there.

Be kind to yourselves

Remember that, as a first-generation professional, you have probably already navigated the challenging academic environment of college.
For instance, filling out unfamiliar documents can be frightening, but this can also be an exciting chance to discover perks you were unaware of. No matter how much you read up on typical business jargon, culture and language vary widely from company to workplace, so you'll need to adjust.
 Remind yourself that mastering a new profession takes time, no matter who you are, rather than feeling like you're to blame for any confusion.

Development of one's career

Every employee has access to several professional development options at work. Inquire about opportunities for professional growth if you are starting a new career. The company occasionally provides these possibilities; other times, employers set aside funds for personnel to attend workshops, conferences, courses, etc., outside the company.
Use the professional development budget if one exists. If not, submit a proposal to your organization, asking them to assist with your professional development. To direct this process, you can think about doing the following:

After researching your alternatives, choose the professional development choices you believe would be most advantageous to you and your company.
Set up a meeting with your supervisor to go over these alternatives.
Make notes for your meeting that include specifics like the program type you want to pursue and the funding needs.

Building a network

You'll rapidly meet peers with various, occasionally atypical, backgrounds as you get to know them, whether in a new work, looking for jobs, or going to grad fairs. This will provide you with a broad network to rely on throughout your career and may help you feel less alone in your experience.
Plan informal interviews to ask people about their journeys to where they are today. This is useful for making contacts and might help you discover mentors. Similar to this, those who are first-generation professionals like you can be incredibly helpful in discussing any difficulties you may be having.

DEI Initiatives

 Workplaces throughout the country are implementing initiatives promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion. Leaders realize the need for a diverse workforce, actively reviewing their organizations' policies and procedures, and discovering the most effective strategies for luring and keeping various employees. 
Do they inquire about what is standing in the way of workplace fairness and inclusion? They are updating corporate rules and practices to create a company culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.
 First-generation professionals, sometimes known as "class migrants," are beginning to gain attention as an underappreciated demographic that brings a variety of viewpoints, difficulties, and talents that can benefit a savvy organization. Find remote work from home jobs in 1 click. Simply sign up to Yulys.com and find a job that loves you back.

Reevaluation of College Degrees

Companies are reevaluating college degree requirements for professional positions more frequently. 
For various positions, many are removing the requirement for degrees if the employer thinks the company itself - or an alternative path - can give the knowledge and experience an employee needs to succeed.
 Without the assistance of the college programs created to help first-gen students succeed, some individuals who would have been first-generation college students may now become first-generation professionals. Therefore, employers must offer part of that support to ensure success at work.

How to recruit and keep first-generation professionals

First-generation professionals should feel welcome at your company long before they are hired, and this welcome should continue after they leave. 
Many first-generation college students feel guilty about abandoning their families and sometimes their financial obligations back home. First-generation students frequently experience regret at having opportunities that other family members did not, as well as regret over feeling as though they are rejecting their past and community.
Your organization's culture and reputation will determine how well it does for every employee.

Learn about the first-generation professional job path first

To learn about first-generation professionals' struggles and success stories, all leaders should take part in awareness training. Only then will your team be able to lower barriers and scale up successes to utilize all of their strengths fully.

Make engaging in honest conversation a fundamental skill for all

 Make it a point to avoid using too much business speak and to talk in a way that everybody can contribute, regardless of background. Task leaders should practice inclusive communication and advocate actions that promote hearing various viewpoints.
 Provide managers and staff with the chance to learn and practice class-based language avoidance through coaching and training.
 The practical advice offered by the research authors is to "develop an internal wiki or glossary of terms with definitions, examples, and images to help assure common grasp of language and concepts" if your business or industry uses complex language or specialized jargon.

Your competency management programs should be reviewed and updated.

 Make sure that your leadership and staff competencies are inclusive and up to date. Then, employ competency-based job descriptions and performance management strategies closely related to abilities and competencies to eliminate unwelcome bias from hiring and career advancement decisions.

Encourage welcoming new-hire orientations

 Introduce new hires to your work environment. Include some of the "unwritten rules" like corporate etiquette, how to speak up and be heard, how to dress for success, and where to go for issues that aren't job-related.
Boosts employee confidence and enables new hires to settle in more quickly; results in a more efficient and successful staff; increases employee retention, and encourages dialogue between the new employee and the supervisor.

Construct or improve your employee resource groups

According to First Gen Talent research, twice as many first-generation professionals deemed employee resource groups or other local organizations crucial to their success in their first professional positions as opposed to non-FGPs. 
Develop or improve your groups. Then, spread the word about organizations and programs through formal and informal communication channels. At the same time, ask for input to help shape future events.

Give every new first-generation employee a mentor.

 Look for people who can and will identify an employee's strengths, help to expand that person's duties, and teach them how to achieve.
 People who will offer encouragement, support, and helpful suggestions. When first-generation professionals have established jobs, could you encourage them to mentor others?

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Frequently asked questions

What does it mean to be first generation professional?

A First Generation Professional (FGP) is someone who completed four years of college and holds a higher level professional position than either of their parents. They are the "First" in their immediate family to do so.

What is the difference between the first generation and the second generation?

Vacuum tubes were employed as an integral component in the first generation of computers, while transistors were used in the second. Assembler language is used by second-generation computers, while first-generation ones use Machine language.

What distinguishes a language from a second generation from a first generation?

In the first generation, magnetic tape and punched cards were utilized, while in the second generation, magnetic tape was used. First, assembly language was employed, and then machine language.

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