The landscape of work can be incredibly intimidating. You’ve likely spent the first 15 or 20 years of your life learning, making friends, leaving school at 3:30 and not having to commute for a combined total of 2 hours every day. If you’ve just left school, you’ve probably come from an environment where your hand has been held through coursework and exams. While they haven’t been easy, there’s been the safety net of resits. It isn’t preferable, but not the end of the world, either. Now, you’re in a competitive job market. Let’s say you’ve found yourself a job (congratulations), and have no idea what to expect from it, or how to deal with it. Today, we’re going to take a look at some career advice for your first job.
Get to know people
First impressions can have a huge impact, but it’s possible to change people’s mind about you. Sometimes, you might assume something about your colleagues upon first meeting them and vice versa. Whether positive or negative, you should take the time to prove yourself past these first impressions. Do this by getting to know the people you work most closely with. It humanises your colleagues (as well as yourself). It also makes every day experiences in the workplace more relatable and enjoyable. You don’t necessarily have to be friends with everyone, but leaving a good impression with your colleagues can make your life much easier. This bring us to our next piece of advice.
Your first job doesn’t have to be unbearable
The myth perpetuated by previous generations is that your first job is always terrible, monotonous, or miserable. Not only that, but many people believe that this has to be the case – as if it was some kind of universal necessity.
Simply put, this isn’t true at all. While it’s entirely possible that your first job isn’t as challenging or fulfilling as you might hope, it doesn’t need to be terrible either. To this end, make sure that you’re happy with the environment you’re working in. Don’t put up with nonsense because you’ve been told that’s “how it is”. Strive to make every working day as enjoyable as possible. If you don’t feel challenged, or feel like you’re underappreciated, make it known (in the most civil, professional way possible). Alternatively, you could leave and go somewhere else. Don’t put up with a completely unfulfilling job unless you absolutely must.
Find out more about who you work for
Many people tend to learn how to do their job, then ignore everything else. “It’s above my pay grade” or “It doesn’t have an effect on me so I don’t think about it” are common phrases you might hear with regards to learning more about the company you work for. However, it helps to know as much about the company as possible. Showing an interest in who you work for helps to demonstrate that you can handle greater responsibility. Remember that it isn’t guaranteed to get you a promotion. Nevertheless, enthusiasm might mean that your bosses think of you first when new opportunities rise.
Remember what you were hired to do
When working, your role can become a bit blurred. You might end up taking on projects that weren’t initially spoken about in your contract or interview, but seem to be a good fit for you regardless. Despite this, keep focused on what you were hired to do. Ultimately, this is what your bosses are paying you for, and they’re counting on you to do it. So, while it’s always good to be open to new projects, keep your sights primarily on what you were there to do.
Don’t let yourself burn out
This is a danger at any stage in your career. However, it’s one to keep in mind right from the very beginning. Working too hard, and not having a bit of variety in the workplace, can wear down your enthusiasm over time. This can leave you sick and tired of your role. This can even happen to people who adore their jobs, and sometimes they end up being completely put off it in the future. Make sure to find outlets in your life outside of work that takes your mind off what you do on a daily basis. Moreover, if you feel that you are being unnecessarily overworked by your superiors, take that up with the appropriate bodies in your company. Burnout can cause you to work less effectively, so it’s in your employer’s best interests to avoid it.
Career Advice For Your First Job – Conclusion
Now you have some career advice for your first job. Ultimately, make sure that you look after yourself in your first job, both in terms of your physical and mental health. Likewise, do what you can to push yourself further so you can pursue your dream career. It’s all about striking a balance.