Starting your first job in the “real world” can be something magical. After all, you just graduated and after years of studying, you will finally be able to use all your skills. But as you prepare to become a “real” adult with a full-time job, responsibilities and hopefully a good salary, it’s also ok to be excited or afraid. Because while your parents and everybody else might make it seem easy after years of experience, a new job is never easy to get used to. It’s always a challenge, no matter if it’s your first or 6th first time at a job. To make it easier for you, let’s talk about 5 things no one tells you before starting your first job.
Starting Your First Full-Time Job – 5 Things You Need to Know
1. You will be overwhelmed
And that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to handle your job. With starting a new job, there always comes a lot of new impressions and input. Those can easily feel overwhelming, especially when you are starting your first ever full-time job. In a moment like this, you have to cut yourself some slack. It takes time to process everything new, and then you can start to unfold your full potential.
2. Your colleagues can make or break your experience
While it is important to find a job that you want to do for 40 hours a week, good colleagues can change everything. A good job can start to become easily a bad one if you don’t get along with your colleagues. But apart from that, the way your supervisor or your colleagues onboard you or share their experience with you can make you better or worse at your job. Especially for your first job, you will need somebody who is a good leader and teacher, so you don’t have to take a jump into the unknown. And if you feel like you don’t have that it’s totally ok to ask or even demand for it.
3. You will need to build your network from day 1
Having a good network at work cannot just help you with having more fun during lunch breaks, but also with getting your work easier and faster done. Start asking people for lunch dates on your first day. Your first choice? The person who is onboarding you. After that, work your way through the team, it will help you with any future problem you will encounter, because you will know the people in your team and their expertise.
4. Your first job doesn’t need to be your forever
Your first job is always an experience that can teach you a lot for the rest of your professional life, but the first job you start will most likely never be your last. I am not just talking about promotions in this case, but also people’s changing interests. A job can 100% fit you in your current life situation, but in 5 years you might have outgrown your current company. It’s ok to change jobs, so don’t be too discouraged if your first job is not exactly what you thought it would be.
5. Hard work is important, but don’t set up a pace you can’t hold
People tend to have the mindset that performing well is the most important thing ever. However, as Simone Biles has recently shown us, mental health is more important. You might not be competing in the Olympics, but it’s important that you don’t overwork yourself right from day 1 one because your co-workers might start to expect your 150% as your normal and then the real problems start. It’s important that you pace yourself and your energy, especially in the beginning when you want to impress people, because however impressed they are in the beginning, in the long run it doesn’t help them or you if you burn out.
When you start your first job it’s exciting, but it’s also important to manage your expectations, energy and mental capacities. You are not a machine, and it’s totally normal that you need some time to adjust to your new position and situation. Starting you first job is not easy, so let’s keep those 5 things in mind to make it easier for you and never forget that it’s ok to take your time.
Have you learned another important lesson when you started your first job? Let us know below.
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