Every year about now, hundreds of thousands of young people get their first jobs.
It’s a great and exciting achievement. But it also comes with a dose of reality: What do you do once you’ve landed a job?
There is plenty of literature on how to find a job, but not a lot on how to act on the job. Here are 10 basic tips everyone new to the job market should know. Some will be obvious, but others might not be. It is, though, a good checklist for anyone about to embark on their first job.
Number one: Have a good attitude from the first moment you show up. Funny how this gets overlooked, but making a good impression on your supervisor and co-workers from the start is vital. This establishes a tone that will stay with you throughout your job tenure, whether it is three months or three years.
Number two: Get ready for some tedious tasks. Every job has its share of duties that no one really wants to do. Your mission is to do them willingly and as efficiently as you can. People will be watching.
Number three: Observe what is going on around you. Get an idea of how your work fits in with the company’s needs. And, listen to everyone. You’d be surprised how much you can learn by listening to others.
Number four: Take time to make friends. Don’t underestimate this task. You’re going to have to work with people as time goes on and the better you know them, the easier it will be to work together.
Number five: Take advantage of any training or learning opportunities that are available. This is so important because you will be doing this for your entire working life. The sooner you understand that your skill development accelerates your career development, the better.
Number six: Find a mentor. Everyone needs a coach, someone who will help them sort through options and evaluate opportunities, and has the knowledge to help you reach your goals. Many people assume they know the path on their own, but the smartest and most efficient route is to lean on the experience of someone who has been there before.
Number 7: Develop goals and a strategy to reach them. You can let your career manage you, or you can decide to manage your career. Having a game plan is always best. Understanding strategies on how to reach your goals makes them more attainable.
Number 8: Ask questions. When you don’t understand why your supervisor wants things done a certain way, ask questions. Pay attention to the answers because once you understand this, you’ll be more efficient at whatever task is assigned to you.
Number 9: Make your supervisor’s life easier. This doesn’t mean you suck up to the boss by running to get coffee. It means you listen to what your supervisor needs and do it as well as you can. If you do that, your supervisor will notice, and you’ll stand out from others.
Number 10: Always go above and beyond. Supervisors sometimes get lulled into thinking that workers can only do what they are told. Workers who disprove this by their actions and by looking for opportunities will be the first to see their careers move forward.