Just Graduated and Starting a New Job? This Is A Must-Read
Brooke Tucker-Reid, Lifestyle Writer
Looking back on my first fulltime job, there are definitely a few things I would’ve done differently. Sure, I’d stumbled through a couple internships fairly successfully during university but the big leagues are another story. Here is the advice I wish my 21-year-old self was given on day one of my first full time job.
Assumptions are not your friend
Your boss sent you and your colleague an email asking you to perform a task? No naïve, young Brooke, do not assume your colleague has taken care of it. Take ownership and leave nothing to chance. Do that and you will look like you’re on the ball.
There’s also a fine line between being empowered and making decisions on the fly you’re not sure your boss would buy into. If you’re unsure, put things on hold and ask for direction. It’s better to do the job right than to rush through it to get it done quickly.
Each of your future bosses will have a different management style. All of your bosses will want consistent updates on what you’re working on. If my boss asked me to do something via email, I used to respond as soon as I had finished the job. In hindsight, I should’ve let my boss know that I was on it and let them know when I intended to finish it. I learned that the hard way. Set expectations and meet them.
Look professional but be yourself
Unless your place of work has a uniform policy, or you’re required to wear a blazer everyday (hospitality/hotel industry), you may not be sure what to wear to your new job. As a general rule of thumb, look presentable and professional, and err on conservative side. More and more workplaces are switching to business casual dress policies but the people at the top (the people you want to impress) will appreciate a clean, professional look. That said, don’t shy away from adding your own individual flare.
You will meet awesome people throughout your career who you will actually want to spend time with outside of work. Even after you both have moved on from the company that bonded you. Get social, go out for office drinks and have a little fun at work. After all, you spend 40 plus hours with these people which is more than you spend with your own family.
Keep your emotions in check
Showing emotions at work is tricky. If you’re happy all the time, people will either gravitate towards you, or think you’re nauseating. If you complain and are often negative, coworkers may steer clear of you. No one likes a Debbie Downer. I’ve been so frustrated at times that I’ve wanted to cry (I have) or scream at someone for being an idiot (I’ve been really close). Do yourself a favour and refrain. You will get stressed but keep perspective. There is so much more to your wonderful life than your career.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. Adulting is complicated. Office politics can be a drag but there’s no avoiding them. But don’t let the man get you down. Just learn the game and always stay a step ahead.