10 Things to Expect From Your First Proper Job


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Starting your first job can be both exciting and intimidating. After all, it’s a big step, and you’ll want to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible. But what exactly should you expect when entering your first proper job? 

In this article, we’ll look at 10 things you’ll need to expect.

1. Adapting to a Work Culture is Important

Workplace culture changes in every organization, and this concept can be overwhelming to both industry veterans and freshers. As soon as you enter a new workplace, make a friend or find a mentor. They can coach you on how their culture works and how to avoid awkward situations.

2. Don’t Expect to Get Paid a Great Salary

Even if you have the skills to start in a senior-level role, you likely don’t have the experience to qualify for them. While you won’t get paid a lot now, you’ll still earn a salary and benefit from industry knowledge. Plus, you can use your pay stubs as proof of income for an apartment.

3. Being Communicative is an Absolute Must

The ability to communicate clearly and concisely is essential in most businesses, regardless if you’re an IT manager or a customer service agent. Employers want to know that you’re good with people. If you’re shy, take some classes on public speaking to build your confidence.

4. Attitude Matters More Than Performance

Grades only really matter in school. At your first job, you’ll find that, while high performance is necessary, its need takes a back seat to attitude. A negative employee can impact the rest of the team and affect productivity, so work on improving your attitude to see better outcomes. 

5. Expect to Do More Than What’s Required

Inaccurate job descriptions and overwork are unfortunately common in all industries, and you may be required to perform tasks that aren’t in your job description. While it may be difficult, try to look at these tasks as learning opportunities. They may lead to a better role in the future.

6. Most On-The-Job Training Isn’t Enough

Your employer may not train you adequately, and while that hurts both you and your boss, it’s a reality most employees face. If your culture doesn’t allow for open dialog, consider learning the ins and outs of your job in your free time. That way, you’ll always produce exceptional work.

7. Criticism May Come Off as an Attack

It’s not always easy to listen to criticism, especially when your manager isn’t all that great at delivering it. But if you take things personally, it’ll be harder for you to grow. Managers may be blunt when discussing your mistakes. Taking it in stride can improve workplace relationships.

8. Networking Will Earn You More Opportunities 

Whether you’re a marketer or a nurse, many people use networking to get their first jobs out of college. Being friendly and personable while in your role will also pay off big time. You’ll find that the most popular coworkers get the most opportunities, so try to stay on everyone’s good side.

9. Team Members Rely on You and Your Work

Working for a business is like permanently being assigned a group project. Everyone on your team relies on you to come to work and hand in your work on time. If you consistently miss deadlines without reason, it’ll impact the project or cause others to pick up your slack.

10. Initiative is Praised by Most Companies

Doing what’s been assigned isn’t enough; you have to try to go above and beyond. To stand out from the crowd, take the initiative to start a new activity. Keep in mind that this won’t mean everyone will support your ideas, but it will make your seniors pay more attention to you.

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