Article | 2:44 min read

Ten Things to Remember About Your First Job

Life Events

You did it! After many applications and interviews, you finally have landed your first job.

Employees handing a new employee office supplies

Before you head in on your first day, there are a few things that you should remember.

  1. You will need to live with the salary you accept for at least a year.

    Although it's easy to think you will be able to go in six months later and ask for a raise, that's not true. Be prepared to have your starting salary for at least a year [1].
  2. Check your attitude.

    How you are perceived in the beginning months of your new job will have a lot of influence in how others interact with you. Watch how you act in meetings, lunches, and during your assignments.
  3. Don't wait.

    Don't sit around and wait for your boss to give you your next assignment. Take initiative and do some work. Try and make their job easier.
  4. Remember your vacation days.

    For the majority of jobs, you will only have about two weeks of vacation offered to you [1]. Remember that when you want to go somewhere, especially around the holidays, you will need to notify someone and book your time off.
  5. Know the environment you are going to be working in.

    Before you take the job, make sure it is a place where you want to be. This is somewhere that you are going to be spending a lot of your time. It's important to like and appreciate the atmosphere at work, so make sure it's a place you like.
  6. Ask for feedback.

    It's alright to ask your superiors about your progress. Be open to criticism and understand that it can only make you better. Learn your strong and weak points and focus on becoming greater.
  7. Be aware that you will do jobs you're not going to like.

    Starting out, you are going to have to earn your stripes. Don't be afraid to do jobs you don't like. Do them well and volunteer for more jobs. You never know who is going to see the things that you are creating and working on, so always give your best effort.
  8. Hone your skills.

    No one is going to give you your next promotion. You are in charge of your own successes. Learn about yourself and master your skills to stand out amongst the competition.
  9. Understand that what you do affects everyone.

    No longer does turning your paper in late only give you a bad grade. How you do your work changes the amount of work that others have to do. If you make a mistake, other people are going to have to fix it and it can cost the company money, trust, and time. The same is true for when you do things well. Just be aware that you are not working only for yourself anymore.
  10. Your first job is not the end all be all.

    Though it can be hard to think about leaving a certain company, the first job that you take will probably not be the only place you work at in your lifetime. Appreciate your work, learn as much as you can, and know that you have a long career ahead of you.


[1] Starting Your First Entry-Level Job? Here Are 10 Things You Need to Know, U.S. News
[2] 10 Things to Know Before Starting Your First Job, Time
[3] Make the Most of Your First Job, Monster


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