Simple tips to kick start the first job

Anxious about your first job? It is a mixed feeling of excitement and nervousness. It is natural to feel butterflies in your stomach for this experience because our first job is such a big deal for us. All of us want to make it perfect but do the question is HOW?
You may have the required knowledge to pull yourself through. But is that enough? What else would you require to work efficiently? Well, merely having skills isn’t enough. It’s the everyday handling of tasks with presence of mind and awareness about every minute detail that helps us make the right decisions at the right time. But even before that we need to get a hang of the work culture and appreciate the differences in this kind of an atmosphere. Being casual and not understanding the seriousness of this new life, I made a lot mistakes during the starting and had a hard time in the first months. Following are some of those blunders of my new job life and would like to share with you so that you can get your perfect start and don’t goof up like I did.

Keep it professional

1. Follow the clock:
Well I was late on the first day of my job. Yes, the Very First Day. I was late by an hour, but reached just in time to be recruited. Phew! The expression on the face of my boss is worth remembering and I shall remember it for the rest of my life so that I don’t repeat this mistake.
Professionalism starts with following the rules. Even if you have not completed your work, the least you can do is show up on time. Discipline is a key aspect and cannot be ignored. Also, keep enough margins during the break to be back on time. Some employers keep a track of the time you left work and got back. Thus, being even a minute late can give a bad outlook.

2. Attire:
The right attire is necessary to make a good first impression. A pleasant start will give you the opportunity to work your way through. But keep in mind that maintaining a good impression is tougher.
Certain companies have rules about attire. Also, it is a good idea to follow the clothing sense which is acceptable with the natives of the place and doesn’t hurt their sentiments.

3. Expect no friends at work:
This was one of my worst mistakes. I used to think that the people I’m good to, would be good to me. Gradually, I realized that they are not obliged to do so. Simply, they do not care. Always remember that no one is a friend at work, especially your colleagues. Even though you may be friendly and nice to them, work is their first priority. And they expect the same from you. Be friendly, not clingy. Be polite and helpful to whoever requires your help. But don’t make them feel awkward by overdoing it. Also, since you don’t know them personally, you cannot trust them.
Tip: if you really want to make friends, you can be in touch with people in other departments. At least they won’t be bothered about how much competition you give them or how they can cut you out of it. However, avoid “talking your heart out” and never take names while gossiping.

You’re out of college, so grow up.

4. Avoid Groupism
Four of us from our college had been recruited in the same company. After the initial days, gradually all of us starting sitting together and had our lunches together. It used to be great, discussing about the good old college days. This happened unconsciously and we never spoke to anyone else other than us. After about a month, a fellow colleague, upset and alone came complaining to us about our so called “group”. Shocked, all of us realized what a mistake we had made.
When you are a part of a group and talk less to others, they feel left out and think you don’t like them. Never let that happen. The last thing you want is to hurt someone and make them go against you. While being in the group, ensure that you have a good relation with all the other colleagues as well. No matter how much you hate them, at least greet them with a good morning or a simple hello and make a pleasant face if you walk past them. Ignoring anyone or failing to meet anyone in the eye is failing to be professional in your approach.

5. Mind your mannerisms
Everyone has been brought up in different ways and thus have different manners and different ideas of right and wrong. Most of the characteristics of our personality are because of the influence of people who have nurtured us. For example, in a family it may be okay to shout and call each other. However, it is not considered professional and thus inappropriate in the work place. Certain gestures are often misunderstood, because they might be specific to the place you belong to. These things may not be taught in schools or colleges. Thus we need to pay a lot of attention towards the rules and ideas incorporated in our place of work. If you are not sure about something, you can ask your colleagues or someone who wouldn’t mind answering you.
Tip: It is a good idea to research about the place you are going to. The research can include religious beliefs, native beliefs and of course, the work culture of the company.

6. Using native language
This is something that personally I find very offending. It feels as if the people are talking in their native language as they’re talking about us or don’t want us to participate in the conversation.
Usually, in every organisation there are norms about the official language. It is advisable to use only this language inside the work premises. Even while you are not working, for example, while having lunch etc, use the official language with your colleagues.

Don’t consider salary as the basis for measuring the value of your work.

Mostly we want more salary than we get. Reason being, unawareness about one’s market value, feeling that we are one of the best etc. This results in disappointment upon getting rejected for higher paying jobs and ultimately succumbing to a lower paying job. Also, note that certain employers have jobs depending upon the education you have had. For example, if you want to become a teacher, you may need to have at least Bachelors degree in the subject, according to an employer. However the employer may choose someone who has a Masters in the field instead of a candidate with just a Bachelors degree.
Also keep in mind that a lot of times freshers are recruited because they can be paid lesser than that of experienced candidates. You may do the same job as that of an experienced counterpart, and you may be even better at it, but you will be paid less since your qualifications or experience may be lesser.
So, if you find yourself in such a position, dissatisfied with your salary, remember these points and give in your best, rather than feeling disheartened merely because of the pay scale.

Looking back, I realize I’ve made a huge pile of mistakes and I had 100% chances of killing the first impression. But having faced them gives me the courage to face harder situations, if not know the solutions. Sometimes we know that a certain thing is wrong but still take them casually and go ahead and make the mistake anyway. Only after we saw the results, we regretted doing it. I hope these encounters helped you understand the severity of such minute mistakes.
Well, it’s not the advice that counts. The most important are the experiences that enrich our lives with wisdom. Only after you explore your field and get into the dynamics of how things work at the workplace, you realize what more you can do. So don’t be afraid of doing mistakes, but remember to learn from them. This is just the beginning; there’s a lot more to learn. Get out of your comfort zones and experience life as we know it!

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