Starting your first job is exciting, but it's also a nerve-wracking experience. Your first job begins a new chapter of your life, both personally and professionally. In an online forum, people shared the tips they would give someone starting their first job. The following are the top fifteen pieces of advice for anyone starting their first job.
1. Cook Lunch at Home
Meal prep and pack a lunch as much as possible. Someone shared that buying lunch every day can put a massive dent in your paycheck, and it's definitely not the healthiest option. Preparing your meals at home can save you money and ensure you're eating well.
2. Have the Right Attitude
Someone shared that 95% of success is showing up on time and having a good attitude. You most likely won't enjoy every aspect of your job, but trying your best is essential. A positive attitude makes a world of difference in how you approach your work and coworkers.
3. Don't Be Afraid of Mistakes
One person commented that you shouldn't worry about messing up. You're going to mess up. We all mess up. What's important is that you learn from those mistakes and keep improving. No one expects you to be perfect, but everyone expects you to try your best.
4. Don't Spread Gossip
Someone shared that you should listen to gossip (if you want) but never spread it. It can be tempting to listen to juicy office rumors when starting in a new workplace, but it's never a good idea to spread them. Gossiping can damage your relationships with your coworkers and make it challenging to work together effectively. If you hear something, keep it to yourself.
5. Don't Burn Bridges
You never know when you might need a reference or when someone from your past job may cross paths with you in the future. So, one piece of advice someone shared for your first job is: Don't burn bridges if you quit or get fired. Leaving a job on good terms shows that you're professional and reliable, and it's always the right thing to do.
6. HR is Not Your Friend
Several people shared that HR is not your friend or there to protect you. Remember that it's HR's primary responsibility is to protect the company's interests, not yours. Be careful about what you say to your HR representative, and avoid sharing anything that you wouldn't want everyone else to know.
7. Be Careful What You Say in Emails
Someone shared that you should write every email as if it will be read by the whole organization and speak as though anything you say is being recorded. Always be professional, clear, and concise in your emails to avoid misunderstandings or problems.
8. Be Early for Meetings
One person advised that you show up to meetings five minutes early when you can. This shows that you are punctual and respect other people's time. It also gives you the opportunity to settle in and prepare yourself for the meeting ahead.
9. Update Your Resume Regularly
Your first job most likely won't be your last. Someone suggested that you keep track of what skills you pick up from your job, like working with cash, customer service, etc., and add them to your resume. This will make it easier for you to apply for other jobs in the future.
10. Work Friendships Don't Always Last
According to one young woman, a lot of work relationships feel a bit like a friendship, but they are not. If they move on, or you do, you will rarely stay in touch. Accept it for what it is and focus instead on networking and building professional relationships.
11. Have a Good Relationship with Supervisors
It's important to be respectful and professional in your interactions with your supervisor and colleagues. Someone suggested building a healthy rapport with your team and supervisor. That's how people get promoted and raises.
12. Stay on Top of the Market
Someone suggested dedicating 30 minutes weekly to research the market, competitors, and prospects. You never know when you might be let go and need a new job. Staying informed about the industry and job market will help you be prepared for any changes that may come your way.
13. Be Irreplaceable
One man remarked that you should get so good at what you do that replacing you becomes more expensive for your workplace than offering you a raise. This will make you a valuable asset to your employer and increase your chances of getting a raise or promotion.
14. Don't Miss Major Life Events for Work
Someone admonished that you should never miss any major life events (or the major life events of close family/friends) for work. You might feel pressure from your employer not to take the time off. However, it's important to prioritize your personal life and make time for the people and events that matter most to you.
15. Take Notes
One woman advised that when starting your first job, take written notes while you're learning how to do the job. Employers appreciate the attentiveness of their new employees. They will be impressed that you're taking what they say seriously and are committed to learning and improving.
This thread inspired this post.
She started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, which was freedom, so she decided to venture out. She took action so that she can live her dream life and decided to help people to live theirs by helping them how to save, budget, and invest.