8 tips for working at your first job

When you leave student life behind you and enter the working life, a whole new world awaits. Working is nothing like being a student. You have to be careful about many different aspects of what you do. From what you wear, to what you do and say, you need to be aware of yourself and your surroundings at all times. The sometimes harsh reality is that the working world is stressful. And starting your first job is especially stressful. Let’s face it, you don’t know what to expect. You’re going to be in the deep end without any idea of how to swim. So, here are some tips for everyone who’s going to be working their first job soon.

Forming relationships

Getting to know your colleagues and having friendly relationships at work is important. You’ll need these people when your computer won’t work, you’re having a bad day or you can’t find the coffee beans. You need to look forward to going to work in the morning. You need to speak to your colleagues and know they’ll look out for you when you need them to. If you don’t have these relationships, you’ll dread the thought of going to work every day.

Not everyone is your friend

It’s important to keep in mind that you need to be careful about who you confide in and how far you’ll let the friendship go. It’s a sad reality that you can’t trust all of your colleagues. You need to get to know them before you let them in on the secrets that could potentially land you in hot water. Who knows, knowing who to talk to and who not to talk to could make the difference between you needing legal advice or not.

Be cautious about what you wear

Dress codes are different in every workplace. It’s important that you try to fit in with the general style of your colleagues. Of course, you shouldn’t change your personal style too much. But don’t be the person wearing casual wear when everyone else is formally dressed. If you’re in a creative industry, it’s probably fine to wear pretty much whatever you’d like daily. But if you’re in a more corporate office, you do need to dress the part. You’ll never be invited to meet with clients if you’re dressed like their teenage children. And keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how relaxed your workplace is, you do still need to take pride in your appearance. It’s true that first impressions count. You need to pay attention to the image you portray when you step foot into the office.

Learning to deal with workplace conflict

There’s something about working with people every day that will eventually lead to you disagreeing with someone. There’s even the chance that you might end up in a hostile relationship with one or more of your colleagues. And if that does happen, you need to be careful about how you deal with the situation. If you feel like you’re being targeted by one of your colleagues, whether it’s a supervisor or someone in your team, you can’t just ignore it. The first step is to have a calm, non-confrontational conversation with the person. If that doesn’t prove to be effective, you could consider escalating your complaint. Always be sure to go through the proper channels. It’s important that you always deal with conflict in a professional manner.

Socialising

There will be times when you’ll socialise with your colleagues. It’s important in these moments to remember not to go overboard. You don’t want to throw your name away in a working environment. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to act in an appropriate manner.

Your lifestyle

Now that you’re working, you need to lead a responsible life. Sure you could go to classes in your pyjamas and with a hangover, but you can’t do that now. Going to work with a hangover and improperly dressed is never a good idea. And forget about arriving late or reeking of booze. You need to guard your reputation and watch how you’re behaving at the office. It doesn’t matter how nice your colleagues and superiors appear to be. It’s essential that you realise they aren’t your friends and you can’t speak to them as if they are. These are the people who sign your paycheque. That, unfortunately, is the extent of your relationship and you need to behave accordingly.

It’s important that you realise now while you’re young and just starting out that you’re aware of how you act in the office. Everything you do, say and wear will impact the way people see you and how they treat you. You might be new to the world of work. But if you want to climb the corporate ladder and succeed in your career, you have to act like the professional you know you are.

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