The nervousness of starting the first professional job is similar to moving to new school, except your folks may not give you tips and teachers not there to protect and defend. I often see Facebook posts and hear stories from friends and family about their new job and roller coaster ride i is turning into and I often feel like giving them a warm hug and saying, “Don’t worry, we have all been there and done that, but it will be worth it because you will without a doubt learn from it!”
Here are my 2 cents for preparing yourself for your new/first job:
- Try to avoid taking things personally as much as you can. I know it’s easier said than done and most of us are emotional creatures in our own way, but please keep your emotional moments for home as much as possible. Often times, you are probably overthinking things and reading too far into comments when they really may be said to help you learn.
- You have to embrace your colleagues and live with the way they are because you are not there to change them, you’re there to work with them and adapt to others personalities. The basic strong suites of people don’t change and the best way to relish your team is to accept them as they are and try to see the best in them. They are hired to do a certain job, not to become everyone’s friends.
- Be politically correct in your emails. It’s very critical to try avoiding issues and maintain a harmonious environment as much as possible so when sending an email, practice writing in a way that you are not offending anyone when trying to defend or explain yourself. Always proof read emails before you send them to ensure diplomatic and professionally appropriate emails.
- Unsolicited advice acts as criticism. Yes, Creative ideas and outside the box thinkers are needed but there is a thin line when your unsolicited advice can act as criticism too. Use your judgement when doing so.
- Ensure to maintain respect for all. No matter how close or friendly you become with your colleagues or bosses, there is usually a difference between how we interact with our friends or colleagues in most professional/traditional work environments.
- Dress appropriately. Most of us know what’s appropriate or not for any professional job. No matter how casual you are with your team, it’s important especially for new jobs to avoid dressing too differently than the rest of the office. Avoid wearing short skirts, low cleavage tops, flip flops etc. Observe what the average dress code at your office is and try to stay in the moderate lines, instead of going to any extreme. People are hesitant to comment explicitly at work but they do notice and it goes in HR ears eventually.
- Avoid personal comments on people. No matter how smart you may think you are or you may think how much well you know the how much you think you know about the other person, it’s better to be cautious of personal comments especially in your work culture. Moreover, everyone’s work and personal life are separate and it is best to stay on the safe side and wait until they initiate a conversation about personal life.
I am sure there are many such tips and topics that we can talk and share with each other but let’s start your new job with these few tips for now and I am sure many other lessons you will learn on your way. Good Luck!