This month marks one year anniversary since I started my first real job as a post graduate. As expected I was nervous as ever to begin this journey of my life. Working, unless I can miraculously get cast as a member of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, was going to be a large part of my life for the next 40 some years, I wanted to (needed to) enjoy what I was doing. I was nervous I was not going to be good enough.
One year later and the nerves have gone away (even though they actually only took about a week to disappear). Here’s what I learned about assimilating into a job and making sure that you are the best form of yourself while you’re there.
1. Often, our generation is given a bad wrap for being lazy and self-absorbed. I have heard so many horror stories about people not wanting to hire 20 somethings for this reason. This stereotype gave me extra motivation and be the hardest worker I could be.
2. Prioritizing is so important. Make sure that you make lists of your projects and what work is most important to get finished first. I know time management was important in college but it’s even more crucial as an adult. Getting all of your work done not only on time and efficiently but correctly will impress the new boss right off the bat.
3. Be on time! Trust me, I understand that some mornings are a DRAG to get out of bed but being even five minutes late can throw off your entire day. This is also something that coworkers and your boss will notice if the lateness is consistent. It looks unprofessional and careless.
4. Say hello to the people in your office as you pass them by. Friendly office repur is important not only for a positive work environment but also gives you the reputation as being pleasant and a team player. Whether you think so or not, little things like this do get back to the boss.
5. My work place often does after work happy hours or nights out together. At first, being the newest and the youngest member of the office I was nervous to join them in these activities. I was not sure what the vibe would be like or if I would feel left out because they have all already been working together long before me, but it’s important to go. You will only feel more left out if you never participate in events like this. It helps you better get to know the people you work with every day and maybe even make some friends. Plus, this is the fun perks of an office so why not take advantage of some appetizers and beer on the work tab.
6. Work just as hard to impress everyone now as you did in your interview. Don’t slack off or become less motivated at your job just because you get more comfortable there. People are still always watching and assessing the work you do and they will notice a change if you change your efforts.
7. If you aren’t feeling challenged enough or on the contrary if you are too overwhelmed do not be afraid to talk to the person in charge. I know some bosses are intimidating but if you are honest with them about your work load and any questions you have they will respect you a whole lot more than if you just went along with your day either doing nothing or doing everything wrong.
8. Keep your resume constantly updated. This does not mean you are actively searching for a new job it just means that you are keeping a list of all the new skills you have been learning. Each time I complete a project I think would be notable or impressive I add it to my resume and LinkedIn page. It can never hurt especially when building your own brand and professional reputation.
If this first year of working in the real world as taught me anything it is that just because school is technically finished does not mean the learning has to be.