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Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me for My First Job

First jobs are intimidating; in hindsight I realise it took me a long time to be able to get into the flow of work and begin to work well.

Accept your newbie status and the work that comes with it
Most people do not realise there is a transition between work and school, you cross an invisible line and suddenly it is a whole new ball game. The rules have changed. First do what is asked of you. Go pick up dry cleaning, buy milk, cleaning the floor, whatever mundane tasks that you are asked to do. 

Slowly you will get to do more work. Just get it done (no matter what.)

Therefore, you need to revel in working hard no matter what the job is. You might be smart and clever, but a solid work ethic is the main thing that'll separate you from all the other viable candidates.

Stay organized and never miss a deadline

Your new career is not like school or any other job you've ever had. What worked before will not work now.  Being on time, getting your work done and keeping it all together is incredibly important at a new job so you do not draw undue attention to yourself. You can worry about standing out later. At first you just need to get your work done as efficiently as possible. It might seem like a minor thing, but showing you can reliably get things done goes a long way.

Pay attention to the company culture
Every company is different and fitting in is increasingly important especially with the stiff competition in the job market. While you don't need to go out of your way to change your personality for an employer you need to fit in as quickly as possible.

One of the best things about a new job is the incredible learning experience it provides
When you join your new job, get to know them, treat them with respect, watch and learn. The goal is make a good impression with various people around the company, and learn as much as you can. Try to be respectful, silent and get your work done the best you can. Careful with this though, I heard once in many companies co-workers, are so afraid they would loose their jobs they perpetually give the wrong instructions. If you know someone on the outside that can guide you reach out to them.

Watch for Burnout 
It's remarkably easy to get caught up in moving your career forward when you're first starting out. Recognize when you're overworked, give yourself breaks throughout the day and if you are unwell take sick days.

It's a fine balance between maintaining a consistent work ethic, being reliable, and still giving yourself the time off you need to survive. Your first job is not only about showing that you can get the job done, build a good network that will keep you going. This likely won't be your last job, and the more you can take away from it the better.

courtesy of Career point kenya

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