Starting out in the working world can sometimes be daunting. It might also be instructive as many find it quite terrifying. You’re likely to get your first professional job as soon as you graduate which will be in your early twenties. You’ll realise that you’ll spend most of your career answering directly to someone else. However, your first job, no matter what it is, will stay with you for the rest of your career. It’ll teach you things you won’t necessarily learn somewhere else. And to an extent, it’ll shape the person you’ll become later in your professional life.
Whether you’re doing a marketing or HR management course, your first full-time job will be the biggest learning opportunity you’ll have in your career. As a soon-to-be graduate, you’ll be entering the workplace fresh, eager and enthusiastic. And as a newbie to the working world, your seniors will be willing to teach and allow you to grow within the industry.
So, as you move through your first job, you’ll have a few pitfalls and, of course, learn a lot of great lessons. Here are a few of those important lessons you’ll learn from your first job.
Always upskill yourself
It’s important to look for new ways to learn and upskill yourself. The more you upskill yourself, the more valuable you’ll become to the company. It’s important to have the willingness to learn. That way you’ll open many doors and opportunities. Consider yourself a sponge that soaks up information and knowledge. Besides, it’s your first job and you have a lot to learn.
Make time to learn and upskill yourself outside of work as well. Whether it’s doing a short course online or finding a mentor to show you the ropes. You can also spend time reading industry-related content or find a non-work-related hobby.
It won’t always be easy
As mentioned earlier, there’ll be a few pitfalls, challenges and obstacles along the way. But it’s all part of the learning process. Starting out fresh from university won’t be easy but nothing is impossible. Things that might seem difficult now might become possible and doable later. You have to learn to never give up. When you’re faced with an overwhelming task, look for ways to break things down into smaller tasks. And whenever you feel stuck, ask for help from your senior colleagues. If you want to make a success of your career, you should stay cool through tough situations.
Pay attention to the small things
If you aren’t a detail-orientated type of person, work at it. This is one of those skills that can be improved with regular practice. And as they say, “Practice makes perfect”. It’s important to check everything twice before sending it off. You should make sure you didn’t make any mistakes. Ensuring to do your best at all times and being on top of your game is the easiest way to build trust over time with others.
Your input matters
You’re a recent graduate who just started out in the working world, why would anyone want to listen to what you have to say? Besides, you’re young and inexperienced. However, many don’t realise that their input actually matters. Your ideas and input can greatly influence the direction of a project. And simply contributing ideas is likely to change the tone of a conversation. Every company is in need of young, fresh employees. Millennials bring a new perspective and skillset to any team. As teams and companies grow older, they tend to get too comfortable with each other. And new, young team members are something every company is after. So, that means your input will be important. Remember, there’ll be a few people who won’t appreciate what you bring to the table. But that shouldn’t stop you from sharing your ideas.
The job description doesn’t really matter
The things listed in your job description are what’s expected of you in general. However, you don’t have to focus too heavily on what it says as you might miss out on a lot of professional growth opportunities. The job description is a template that’s used by companies to guide their employees. You should realise that it’s what you do beyond your written responsibilities that will make you stand out from the rest. And don’t hesitate to work outside your normal job function. If someone from another department asks for your help, assist them. Don’t shy away from things that aren’t in your job description. That’s the way you’ll be noticed for all the right reasons. It’s important to complete every task with enthusiasm and pay attention to detail.
Your first professional job is the perfect time to learn about the industry. So, you should take advantage of everything being afforded to you. Take chances, commit yourself to your work, show initiative and make mistakes. All these will help you shape a better future and career.