Starting your first job is a big step! You’re finally out of school or just finished your degree and ready to start your career. But with this newfound freedom comes a lot of responsibility. Entering the adult world of responsibility can be overwhelming, but don’t worry; here are ten things to keep in mind when starting your first job.
1. Show Up on Time
This one seems like an obvious one that nobody will get wrong, but it’s important to show up on time or even early for your first day and every day after that. This will set the tone for the rest of your employment and show your boss that you’re reliable. By showing up early, you can also get a head start on the day or take a few minutes to settle in and make a cup of coffee before the day begins. Eagerness and punctuality are important attributes to have in the workplace.
2. Come Prepared
Again, this seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people show up to their first day of work without being adequately prepared. Be sure to bring along a notepad and pen, as well as any other materials you might need for the job that your employer won’t supply. Being prepared and having supplies you’re comfortable with will also show your manager that you’re organized and prepared for the tasks ahead.
3. Dress the Part
First impressions are everything, so it’s important to dress for success. Even if the dress code is casual, be sure to wear clothes that are clean and presentable. You want your employer to see that you take pride in your appearance and can represent the company well. For example, if the dress code is casual, don’t show up for work in a pair of sweatpants or jeans with holes. Instead, opt for a nice pair of khakis or decent jeans with a casual top or button-down shirt.
4. Be Polite and Professional
This one goes hand in hand with dressing the part. It’s important to be polite and professional at all times, even if you’re not getting along with a co-worker or customer. Remember, you’re representing the company, so it’s important to always put your best foot forward. While you should always be polite, you should also remember that it’s okay to stand up for yourself if a co-worker or customer is being disrespectful. Nobody has the right to treat you poorly, and it’s important to speak up and report any instances of mistreatment.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
No one expects you to know everything on your first day or even your first month. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask them! It’s better to ask and get clarification than make a mistake because you are too afraid to ask for help. Your colleagues will also appreciate the fact that you want to learn how to do things correctly and efficiently. They will be able to provide you with tips and tricks on how to do your job well.
6. Take Initiative
Your boss will appreciate it if you take the initiative and get started on tasks without being asked. This shows that you’re eager to work and willing to take on new challenges. Just be sure not to overstep your boundaries; if a task is outside your job description, check with your manager or employer before taking it on. Showing initiative can also mean speaking up and offering new ideas or solutions to problems in the workplace. Never show up to a meeting with just a problem; always present a solution too.
7. Be a Team Player
Working well with others is an essential skill in any workplace. Be sure to lend a helping hand when needed and pitch in on group projects. This will show your employer that you’re able to work well under pressure and as part of a team. Being a team player in the workplace can also open doors for networking and building relationships with co-workers. These relationships can be personally and professionally valuable in the long run. By involving yourself in team projects, you also have the opportunity to showcase your skills and abilities.
8. Know What’s Allowed And What Not
Every company has its own policies and guidelines. It’s important to know what is allowed in the workplace, such as using your personal device for work purposes or taking breaks during certain times of the day. It’s also important to know what is not allowed, such as showing up to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, using company resources for personal gain, or engaging in inappropriate behavior with co-workers. Familiarize yourself with the company policies and guidelines, and always follow them to avoid any consequences.
9. Understand How The Law Protects You
It’s important to understand your rights as an employee. This includes knowing what laws protect you from discrimination and harassment in the workplace, as well as understanding the company’s discipline and grievance procedures. You should also know that if you are injured at work, you have the right to file a workers compensation claim. It is crucial that you understand your rights and how you are protected as an employee.
10. Always Strive for Improvement
No matter how well you think you’re doing at your job, there is always room for improvement. Take on new tasks and challenges, attend training courses and seminars to learn new skills, ask for feedback from your colleagues and superiors, and aim to excel at everything you do. Constantly striving for improvement will not only make you an asset to the company, but it can also open doors for promotions and career advancement in the future. So don’t be afraid to push yourself, and always aim to do your best. This will make you stand out in the workplace and ensure success in your career.
Being at your first job can be intimidating, but with these ten things in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to succeed and thrive in your new role.