How to Succeed at Your First Job: 10 Helpful Tips for Students
The first job is the acid test. Newbies want to make a good impression on colleagues, define priorities, and avoid mistakes.
If you have had an internship at a company or advanced training or courses, you are lucky. Such experiences put candidates a step ahead of their peers. Yet, there is a big difference between an internship, a part-time job, and full-time employment.
Studying is not that different from working. Yet, some things are not as complex in the student’s world. During college years, it is easier to disregard some things. For example, students may skip doing some homework or be excused from classes, or get some points for extracurricular tasks.
The most dexterous ones use essay writing service to stay on track with all the homework and extracurriculars. These people are most likely to succeed in their first job. Why? Because they have the skill of delegating tasks and focusing on the relevant work. Still, there are other ways to succeed.
Listen and Observe
It is better to listen and observe before proposing any changes. Innovation is good, but a newcomer should always consider the established dynamics in the workplace.
In a team or company with established work traditions, a newcomer with their ideas for improvement will probably face skepticism. Why?
- First – they do not know anything about why they do it one way and not the other.
- Second – they have not yet gained the trust of their colleagues.
- Third – most people are cautious about changes.
Young employees need to think through their behavior in stressful situations. In such training, conditions play a decisive role – they should be as close to real-life conditions as possible. To do this, try the following:
- rehearse a speech in front of friends or family;
- shoot a video;
- train in front of a mirror.
Do anything that makes you anxious as much as the expected business meeting. Stricter rehearsal conditions will reduce stress during the actual event. If necessary, prepare scripts for phone calls or make email templates.
Make sure you understand the employer’s values well and focus on them. A well-done complex task may go unnoticed if it is not particularly important to the company.
When in doubt, ask follow-up questions. Doing so is the best way to figure out where to focus your efforts.
Get Organized and Make it a Habit
A new job is always an avalanche of information and tasks. So, the habit of planning and being more organized will at least make your life easier. The first week is a great time to break bad habits. For example, if you are not particularly good at time management, use the first week to plan out each day and put that plan to practice.
Get Noticed as Often as Possible
Attend every meeting and seminar, and never be afraid to speak up. You will feel what is important to the company and why, and others will get used to seeing you around.
Watch Out for Office Gossip, but Never Join
The other side of the getting-noticed coin is that people notice everything.
Gossip is the unofficial newspaper of any office. Pay attention to what people discuss. Listening can give a valuable insight into the dynamics of the group. Gossip reveals informal leaders, troublemakers, and useful contacts.
More importantly, try not to make the front page of this newspaper. Becoming the focus of some rumor is the worst thing that could happen in the office. Remember that the world is a small place, and a rumor can follow you for years.
Find Colleagues on Social Networks
As soon as you officially start a new job, update your status on the social network and add new colleagues as friends. This action is a chance to start building professional relationships and show sociability.
Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
Understanding job-related responsibilities and the state of the industry is essential. Yet, do not underestimate interactions with peers. The abilities to overcome difficult situations, correctly formulate a response, explain the benefits of certain actions, and disagree with someone are related to reading the emotional responses.
The main rule of communication for the first week: “If you don’t know something – ask.” Ask about anything that causes even the slightest doubt.
Try to get as much information as possible about the department, hierarchy, tasks. Find out what the boss expects from the employees.
If you’ve forgotten someone’s name, approach this person with the question. It’s perfectly okay to forget someone if you’ve been introduced to twenty-something people in a few hours.
Know Your Responsibilities and Set Boundaries
Do not do tasks that others should be doing.
This phrase should be the motto of every newbie in the office. There are such employees who try to offload their tasks onto a newcomer. So, conversely, clarify whose task it is. Learn to say no if you are sure that this is not your scope of work.
In long-established teams, everyone is accustomed to who handles what. That is why the boss may set a task “into the void,” knowing that the right person will pick it up.
Some experienced employees may be informal leaders of the group. So, they are likely to give a newcomer some tasks and act as if they were department heads. That is why it is essential to know the hierarchy and defend personal boundaries.
To Sum it Up
Every job, including the first one, puts us to test. Besides showing professional skills, introverts need to communicate, extroverts may have to dial down their enthusiasm, workaholics have to learn how to delegate, etc.
Remember that every job and job task teaches a valuable lesson, even if not directly related to the profession. Listen, observe, and never start with suggesting drastic changes to the intradepartmental processes.