Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking, but starting your very first job is a whole different ball game. Entering the workforce means you’re entirely new to work life, and that’s a certain kind of pressure that can sometimes feel insurmountable. Whether you’re starting in a small business setting or a corporate workplace, navigating your first job can be nerve wracking.
While starting your first job is stressful and sometimes scary, it doesn’t have to feel impossible. There are simple yet effective ways to achieve success and get yourself on the right path to being a standout employee even early in your working life.
Don’t try to make people think you know everything.
Understandably, in your first job, you’d want to try and project a certain level of knowledge and confidence. And while it’s good to be confident and let people know that you’re up to the task at hand, pretending that you know more than you do could work against you in the long run. The better way to approach this is to be honest and open with your colleagues when you’re starting. Ask questions and own up to the fact that you need help with something if you do need help.
Trying to act like you’re knowledgeable when you’re really not might put you in a situation where you try to handle something yourself and end up making a mistake. If you ask for help instead, it shows that you want to learn and understand the right way to do something and that you’re open to working with your colleagues to accomplish tasks and goals.
Prioritize work ethic
Having a good work ethic goes a long way in any job, and that can be as simple as showing up on time every day and being efficient with organizing your tasks and work day. If you can establish a solid routine early on, you’ll get comfortable much more quickly and make a much better impression with your co-workers and supervisors. Organize your day and stick to that as often as possible, leaving some room for unexpected interruptions and last-minute tasks.
Reach out and be welcoming
Making work friends is a great way to establish yourself and get familiar with the people you work with. Approach your co-workers whenever you can, whether that’s as a colleague or even just as a friend. Make an effort to have lunch with your co-workers if possible, and make yourself available for collaboration. If you put forth an effort to open yourself up to friendships and collaborative relationships, you’ll find that success will come earlier. You are making an impression as someone willing to be part of the team can only lead to good things.
Network and make connections
Another great way to achieve success in your first job is to network and connect with people in your industry. You might think that networking is for the job-seeking process or during/after college, but the truth is that networking is important no matter where you are in your career. Making industry connections can help you achieve goals, gain new clients, get your name out there, and ultimately advance your career.
The best way to work your way up in your career is to surround yourself with people who see your talents, know your reputation and can vouch for you when you’re looking for new opportunities or are ready to advance. Make those connections early, and you’ll find success in big and small ways at every turn.
— Article by Sean Kelly. In addition to being an analyst researching the latest industry trends for College Recruiter, Sean Kelly also co-founded a nonprofit local news publication in Savannah, GA called The Savannahian.