Getting your first job is an important career milestone. Sure, you have probably worked internships and part-time jobs before, but nothing will prepare you for your first real job.
Because working part-time or doing an internship is one thing, having a certain position is completely different. In most companies, interns and part-time workers simply don’t have the same amount of responsibilities as full time employees. From office politics to how to compose an email, everything you’ve previously known will be challenged.
1) Adjustment Period
The adjustment period is the time that passes between your first day at work and the moment when you feel that you have mastered your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. The adjustment period can take a week, a month, or several months, depending on your responsibilities. A common mistake during this period is to believe that college taught you everything you need to know. College simply gave you the basics, so you will need to learn on the job. It’s important to be open to learning during this period, ask as many questions as you need to – but make sure to really learn and not ask the same questions over and over again.
2) Office Politics
Do not expect to walk in the door on your first day and meet your next best friend. When you get a job, chances are there will not be any other new people at the office ready to bond with you. In addition, getting too close to some coworkers might get you pulled into office politics, gossip that can have terrible consequences that might get you fired. So, keep to yourself and take your time to get to know everyone, and keep the gossip to yourself. Pay attention to your coworkers. Watch their manner of conduit among themselves and with their superiors It will teach you how to behave in the office and how to dress.
3) Freedom and independence
Your first real job will come with a lot of responsibilities and tasks – and a lot of trust from your employer to do those tasks correctly. You might be monitored during the training period – if you have one – but chances are, you will be left on your own. There will be no professors to tell you that you’re doing something wrong. You can wing it and pretend you know everything and make catastrophic mistakes with this type of freedom. You may abuse your time in the office and not complete your tasks, or you might be terrified that everything you do is wrong. However, keep in mind that you can always learn and avoid mistakes by knowing where to seek the help you need.
4) Finding a balance
Many people think that it’s necessary to overachieve on your first job. You might work at a small company where everyone’s progress is completely visible. If you’re an overachiever, you may face some consequences. Your boss might begin to abuse your enthusiasm to pile your desk with more tasks, your coworkers might act cold towards you because you’re making them seem slow, or you might burn yourself out until you cannot face going to work another day.
It’s important to find a balance – don’t be slow, but do not overdo it either. Build up your career with patience, and master your skills by improving them daily. Burning yourself out will not be good for you, because once you slack, your employer will notice, which might lead to getting fired.
5) Moving on
Your first job doesn’t mean you need to keep working throughout your professional career. Remove the stars from your eyes and look critically at your workplace. Are the conditions good? Do you get good benefits? Will this position enable you to move forward in your career, or is it a dead end?
Just because you’ve finally landed your first job, it doesn’t mean that you cannot move on to bigger and better things if the chance arises. So, keep your eyes peeled for opportunities, just in case, and in the meantime, remember that nothing is permanent, not even your first job.
Article provided by Wonderlic Test Prep.