Starting your first job

  • Keep a running list of things you learn and accomplish so you can reference your growth through the year - which can be used for future promotions. 

    • By the time you hit the 1 year mark, you might not remember what you did when you first started. 

  • Set 30 days, 90, year goals for yourself so you can measure your growth. 

    • This will also be helpful for annual reviews. 

  • Take bathroom breaks and deep breaths when you feel anxious or overwhelmed in the new place. 

    • It’s normal to feel very stressed, take a few moments away from everyone - go to the bathroom or a side office space. 

  • It will take a few weeks to feel like you’re actually a part of the team and not a guest, but don’t let that deter you from speaking up.

    • If you have questions or interjections, speak up early before it feels too late to say something. 

Photo by   Fox   from   Pexels

Photo by Fox from Pexels

  • Find an ally in the office.

    • Make one friend that you can go to with questions that you feel uncomfortable asking your boss.

    • This will curb your loneliness and help transition you into the community. 

  • Personalize your workspace so it becomes your space, and a place that you feel more comfortable in - this will ease some of your nerves. 

    • Get yourself a nice mug and add some photos so your space feels more permanent. 

  • Write down little notes in your notebook to remember people’s names. 

  • Screenshot compliments.

    • Keep a private folder of compliments so you can read them when you need a pick-me-up if you’re feeling stressed or inadequate.

  • Create structure for yourself by sticking to a routine. 

    • This will help you assimilate and calm your anxieties of any change. 

    • Even if you have many meetings, find a few things that you can do regularly. This will help familiarize yourself with the new area and ease into the community.

RAWPIXEL.COM  from nappy

RAWPIXEL.COM from nappy

  • You will feel out of place, but you belong there. 

    • Imposter syndrome is real, but check out how to move past so you can feel more confident 

  • Remember, you already got the job. 

    • You don’t need to convince anyone to hire you, so no need to discuss your accomplishments or strengths with new people you meet - they really don’t care.  

  • Don’t go overboard to be a people pleaser. 

  • Bring your lunch.

    • You will save a lot of money, lunches will add up quickly and you don’t want to get into an expensive hobby.

  • People will respect you over time as you do a good job. 

    • You can prove yourself by excelling at your job. Schmoozing isn’t the key to making friends at the office. Make their job easier, deliver what you say you will, and be friendly.

  • Go to the happy hours and events hosted by your company. 

    • It might feel weird drinking with your boss, just don’t go overboard. These are amazing ways to become friends with your co-workers.

Photo by  Elevate  on  Unsplash

Photo by Elevate on Unsplash

  • Set time boundaries for your colleagues from the get go. 

    • I know you want to be helpful and please everyone, but make sure you are realistic about your capabilities, time frame, and task list. 

    • (Even unintentionally) people can take advantage of you and keep loading on things to do, without understanding a realistic scope. 

    • Give people a realistic timeline and if they ask for too many short notice projects, find out why they have picked that timeframe, and set up a system to get the work earlier.  

  • When you make a mistake, write down what to do next time so you don’t make it, and move on.  

    • I promise, you will make hundreds of mistakes. As long as you acknowledge them, and figure out what to do in the future to prevent making the same mistake, you are all set. 

    • In general people are pretty forgiving, just be proactive and learn from them. 

  • Ask so many questions, even the stupid ones. 

    • You will feel dumb asking how to make an outside phone call, but will feel worse when it’s 1 year in and you still don’t know how to because you were too nervous to ask. 

    • You can totally play the “new” card when asking questions. 

Photo by  Mimi Thian  on  Unsplash

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

  • Don’t stress about being the new person, because there will probably be a new hire in a few weeks soon and you’ll be showing them around.

  • If you are given free alcohol, don’t act like a college student. 

    • Drink responsibly and don’t get drunk in the office.

  • Get to know a person from each department. 

    • If there aren’t any formal introductions, try to meet someone from each team so you can learn faces, functions of the company, and have an ally from other parts of the office. 

    • After a few months of working, and the “ice breaker” phase is over, it’s easy to fall into the trap of only talking to the same 3 people sitting next to you. 

  • If your job becomes a toxic environment and your supervisor is abusive, it is okay to leave before a year.