On My First Day on the Job: What I Wish I Had Known

advice for your first day on your first jobIn the summer of 2006, I was able to score my first job working in retail at the mall. I was so excited to be hired at one of my favorite clothing stores!

But if I could go back in time, there are a few things I would advise my former self to do differently.

Here’s what, on my first day at my first job, I wish I had known…

Make the Most Out of the Opportunity 

At 16 I was just happy to have a job at the mall. I wasn’t thinking about how my retail job could add to my skill set. I didn’t really care how my manager could be a future reference. I definitely got the job done when I went to work and even exceeded sales goals, but I still could have made more of my opportunity. I could have observed my manager more and soaked up how she motivated our sales team. Another thing that I would have done is reflect on everything that I was learning and kept a record of it. This would have been extremely helpful when I was drafting my first resume my senior year of high school.

Learn How to Take Constructive Criticism 

When I started my job it was also hard for me to take constructive criticism. One day I reorganized our jeans closet and thought I did a great job. When my manager inspected it she pointed out ways to make it more efficient. I remember feeling a little dejected when she gave me feedback on the closet. Looking back, my 16-year-old self was really sensitive to any kind of feedback on my work. If I could have a do-over, I wouldn’t have taken it personally and would have welcomed my manager’s comments as a way to be better

Save Some of Your Paycheck 

When I received my first paycheck I remember blowing it all on clothes I didn’t need and Taco Bell. While I think it was a good idea to treat myself, I shouldn’t have gone overboard. When I moved out of my parents’ house for college I spent the first few months regretting all of the money I spent on unnecessary things in high school. Now I have a target amount that I save from each paycheck and immediately put it into my savings account. It keeps me from making impulse purchases, and it gives me peace of mind that I have money saved up if something was to happen.

Manage My Time Wisely 

I landed my first job at the beginning of summer, so I didn’t have a lot of school work to worry about. Even though I wasn’t in school I played softball on a competitive travel team and had to read two books for an AP English class by the start of the school year in August. I spent the last weekend before the first day of school trying to finish a 300-page book. What I learned from that summer is that I should have focused priorities and broke up large projects into smaller tasks.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at SimplyHired.

Simply Hired

This entry was posted in Career Advice and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.