How to Survive Your First Job
It’s great to land your first professional position after spending years in college. That first step on your career path is satisfying and exciting. To make the most of your first career opportunity, follow these steps on surviving the professional world.
1. Expect to be the Low Man on the Totem Pole
As the new employee, you’ll probably be assigned the most tedious jobs. Regardless of the assignment, do it to the best of your ability. The team you’re working with is counting on you to complete the duties you’ve been given. Someone has to do the dreary work. Because you’re the most recent hire, you’re the one. Embrace the concept. With the right attitude, you can expect to move on up in no time.
2. Be an Over Achiever
Do more than is expected of you. Make your bosses confident that they hired the right person. Don’t complain, and don’t come to work late. If you find yourself checking the time every 20 minutes, choose to go out of your way to find additional ways for you to be productive. Make sure you are always utilizing your time to your fullest advantage, which means don’t leave early unless you have discussed this prior with your manager. If you finish your job early, ask your boss if you can help with another project.
3. Be Confident
Young professionals often need help putting their best foot forward. We understand it’s your first job, but there’s no reason to be so nervous. You were chosen for this position for a reason so you should be able to confidently present yourself through your work. Focus on listening and acquiring accurate information for upcoming tasks. Quickly organize your thoughts to present ideas in a clear and cogent manner. You got this job for a reason, now strut your stuff!
4. Follow the Rules
If the company doesn’t permit surfing the web during business hours, don’t visit Facebook. Checking personal e-mail while on the job can become a distraction and should not be part of your work day. Make sure you give plenty of notice if you need to take a day off for a doctor’s appointment or some other undertaking. Before accepting your job, make sure your potential employer is aware of all the dates that you will need off. That way, you don’t feel uncomfortable taking the time off. Comply with the dress code. Ask other fellow employees what the dress code and always dress to impress. You don’t want to attract attention to yourself for the wrong reasons.
5. Be careful what you talk about with your co-workers
There are certain topics that should never be discussed in a professional environment because they are hot-button issues. Avoid discussing politics and religion. Don’t gossip about your fellow workers. It’s always smart to keep your personal life and your professional life somewhat separate – Don’t divulge too much personal data about yourself. Never mention your salary, medical history or personal problems on the job
6. Find a mentor
Pick someone who has been at the company for a long time and has been in your shoes. Ask pertinent questions, but don’t pick their brains. It’s always good to have an ally. Having this person on your side will help push you further to achieve your goals and also become more acquainted with your job’s responsibilities.
7. Be friendly and polite to your co-workers
Too few people express gratitude for the small things. Saying “please” and “thank you” will show that you’re considerate. Starting everyday with a smile will also make you seem approachable to your fellow workers.
8. Concentration is Key
Make sure to focus on your main responsibilities. Don’t get distracted by other tasks until you’ve finished your part of the project.
9. Always be Eager to Learn
Accept any training or further educational opportunities that your company offers. If you’re better at using some advanced software, you could get promoted sooner. Your supervisors will notice your desire to learn. You might even get a great assignment because you’re up-to-date on the latest technology.
10. Don’t be Emotional
Watch your emotions when you’re at work. Even if you get angry for some reason, don’t show it. Don’t be a hothead.
By following these tips, you’ll find fitting in to your new job is a breeze.