5 TIPS TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR FIRST JOB

Saturday

This is a guest post written by Chloe from chlodoeslife.com.

You did it! You finally graduated and landed your first job. Life after university can feel very overwhelming and starting your first full-time job sounds scary, but I’ve created a list of amazing tips to help you navigate through your first job and be successful. 


Hi, my name is Chloë and I blog over at chlodoeslife.com. I graduated in May 2020 and started my first (corporate) job in August of that year. In the year and a half between starting that job and writing this post, I’ve learned a lot and now I’m sharing my tips with you. Thank you, Lauren, for giving me the opportunity to guest post!


Person typing on laptop

1. First Impressions Matter


It sounds cliché, but it’s definitely true: first impressions matter. Make sure that on your first day - and every day after - you’re dressed properly and look neat. Of course, you dress according to your workplace - make sure you know beforehand what the dress code is. If there is none, you can easily wear jeans and nice jumper, but just make sure that you don’t look as if you’ve just rolled out of bed. It gives your employer the wrong impression of you.


Not only your outfit is important, there are a few other things to take into consideration as well. Make sure that you have everything you need to make your first day into a success. Take a notebook and a pen to make notes, bring some snacks and a water bottle if you’re not entirely sure your workplace will provide these. I wrote a whole post on how to rock your first day on my own blog, so make sure to check that out if you’ve finished reading here. 


2. Always Ask Questions


And you can take always quite literally. You just graduated and have only limited to no work experience, nobody expects you to know everything from the start. Even after months and after a year and longer, it’s still okay to ask questions. Nobody is perfect and even senior profiles still need help sometimes. It’s better to continue asking questions than make big mistakes that could cost you your job! 


You need to ask questions in order to be able to be successful in your first job. Finding solutions to a problem yourself is time-consuming and not efficient. Of course, you shouldn’t just bother your manager with every little inconvenience. I once read a tip online about the 20-minute rule: if you can’t find any possible solution within the first 20 minutes, ask your manager. If within the first 20 minutes you have a slight idea of how you could solve it, try that first. If that doesn’t work, speak to your manager. This way you don’t unnecessarily bother them and still find a solution in a timely manner. 

Related: 10 productive things to do on a Sunday for the best week

3. Take Additional Training


As someone who has just entered into the workforce, you naturally don’t have all of the skills you need yet to grow as a professional. Along the way, you automatically notice there are things you can’t do yet, and you should take every opportunity you can find to expand your skill-set. Not only for your current job, but any future positions you will take on in your career.


Most companies have a training budget available, so make sure you check in with your manager about how much you can spend yearly on courses. When you find a course that’s relevant to your job, talk to your manager to see if you can attend - you shouldn’t pay for these yourself. If there is no budget, there is also plenty of free training available online that will help you expand your skill-set. For example, some of the tools I work with or some of our business partners offer free online training on various subjects that I try to attend as much as I can. 


4. Learn To Say No


This probably also depends on the department you work in and on your individual skills, but as a new hire, people from different departments will ask you for your help, especially if you have one specific skill that might be useful for them as well. I, for example, speak German fluently, so the marketing and customer service departments often ask me to help with some translations. 


What’s important to remember, is that you make sure it fits in your schedule. Always do your job first and then see what you can do for other people. I know that especially in the beginning it’s very hard to say no to others, because you want to make a good impression, but you should always put the tasks you were hired for first. If a favour for someone else doesn’t fit in with your other deadlines, say no politely. Most of them will understand. This is super important to avoid any unnecessary stress and to not feel burnt out after a while. 


5. Stay In Touch With Your Friends


Nothing is more important than staying in touch with your friends. Even if you have less time now than you had before, find some space to squeeze in your friends for a drink after work every now and then. As a junior, you can feel very out of place sometimes, especially in the beginning, and being able to talk to your friends about it, can be a huge relief. 


It’s the perfect way to let out those frustrations that you can’t share with colleagues or family, because they simply won’t understand. Talking with people that are on the same level as you will make you feel understood. After all, most of them will be going through the same thing and it will help you feel less alone at times. 

Related: What now? A life after graduation

These are my tips to be successful in your first job! I hope you enjoyed them and that they’ll be useful for you in your job too. Thank you again, Lauren, for the opportunity and for letting me write a piece for your blog. 


Yours truly,

Chloë 

4 comments

  1. Great advice! You have to be open and honest as if you pretend you understand things at work it can make you like false. Definitely ask questions.

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  2. Some amazing advice here! It's always good to take extra training when you need to and to always offer to do extra training too!

    Lucy Mary

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  3. These are really great tips -- I think anyone going out into the world of work will benefit from your advice here. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Fantastic advice, I can see this being super helpful for a lot of college / uni leavers. I got my first job when I was in sixth form and it was Primark - so I didn’t take it that seriously. Although I wish I did!

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