Do you remember your first job? I was 16 years old when I joined the Royal Navy and I had no idea what it meant to work for a living. Not that you are given much choice in the forces, you will do the job, you will do it as efficiently as you can … or you catch a whole bunch of grief. It’s actually not a bad way to learn about life.
For the new grad coming into the workforce today, they come from an environment where they maybe had to get out of bed before 9am some days, they might even have had the odd day with 6 hours worth of work involved! Now, this crazy new employer wants them at the office at 8:30, wants a FULL day of work and no goofing off before 5pm. What’s up with that?
Well … it is definitely a mind shift. Hopefully it doesn’t take a few jobs before you realise that first job wasn’t really all that bad. They had a decent attitude to fun, they had some nice perks that you hadn’t realised were unique, they were willing to teach you and let you grow.
My advice to the first timer in a new job!
- Take it seriously … do everything as well as you can.
- Don’t be sucked into the “negative” crowd. Be yourself, and make your own decisions about your level of commitment.
- It’s very easy to stand out … do good work, care about what you do, be cheerful, put in a little extra!
- Remember that you are going to spend a lot of time on the job – your whole working career. You can choose to do it with a glass half full attitude or not … either way you are going to be there!
- Don’t assume anything … ask tons of questions, but use your brain! If you are smart, let it come through … without making silly mistakes.
- Remember the office is not home and your coworkers are not your family … put on your professional face, don’t bring baggage to the office.
- Don’t look for ways to do less, to get more time off or to work the system … it’s obvious!
- Look for the positive in everything!
- Treat people well … no matter who they are!
- Smile and walk fast!