If you’re just joining the world of work, perhaps on your first job, congratulations are in order! You’re taking a big step towards building a life that is both meaningful and powerful. And you’re about to have a one-of-a-kind experience.
You’re likely nervous, as is reasonable. Millennials are increasingly being labeled “the job-hopping generation,” switching roles every one to three years. So take this first job as it comes; expect the unexpected. I promise you’ll learn from it, no matter how long you stay on board.
Remember, no matter how you feel about your first job, it probably won’t be your last.
So what important lessons will you learn?
Your First Job is a Big Deal
Until you’re on the clock at your very first job, you probably won’t realize how big of a deal it really is. You are being *paid* to be somewhere and get something done. Even if you worked part-time during school or babysit on the weekends growing up, there’s something more intense about walking into an office with a job title and tasks to get done. People are depending on you! Make sure you take it as seriously as you know you should.
The Working World is Full of Weird Lingo
Sure, this varies from workplace to workplace. Not everyone’s going to say ‘ping me’ when they want you to get in touch, but your new place of work probably has their way of shortening common phrases in emails or meetings. It’s to your advantage to ask about these right away, at the risk of missing something important.
Workplace Habits are Critical
Does everyone at your office head out for lunch at the same time? Take a few minutes to chat around the coffee machine, or bring their caffeine fix right back to their desks to enjoy? Make sure to observe the trends of your coworkers around you. Chances are, they formed them for a reason.
There is Such Thing as a Friday Feeling
Adjusting to the 9-5, M-F schedule can be harder for some, but it’s pretty universal to feel tired and antsy at the end of a long week. Don’t panic if the clocks hits 3 on Friday and you’re ready to run for the hills. Take a deep breath, a walk around the office, or grab a snack; you’re not alone, but you’re on the clock. Do whatever you can to make sure you don’t check out too early.
Every Day is a Lesson
Obvious, right? Well, you probably started your first week with this in mind, eager to soak up everything around you. But then it hit week 5 and you’re starting to settle into a routine. And maybe a meeting that goes overtime gets on your nerves. But instead of the frustration, focus on the reason it went so off the plans. What could you have done ahead of time? A chance for you to step up and wow your coworkers? Don’t let any experiences slip by in the routines you’re building without learning valuable, important lessons.
Your first real job is a big deal. And there is so much to learn. Keep an open mind. Soak up the experience. And come out the other side a better professional… and a better person.
For this post, we’d like to thank our friends at Levo.