Tips to Rock Your First Job
The first job is a way through which you set your sail for your greatest career. But if you think it will happen by default then it would be your greatest mistake. You need to take charge and make it happen. Many people start their first job and they don’t put effort to make their career great and complain about their first job most of the time. But you don’t need to be among those people. You can make your mark. You can stand out in the crowd and prove yourself indispensable to your organization.
But how do you do it? Do you need to have a magic wand which you will whirl and twirl and your dream career will arrive? Nope, that can only happen in fairy tales. You need to take one small step each day to be at the top of your game and the good news is you don’t need to accept what happens to you; you can design it by your own choice.
In this article we will offer you 6 solid tips that have the power to revolutionize your first job. Just take notes if you need to and apply them one by one. You will see a huge difference in your confidence level and your career graph.
Are you ready? Let’s dig in.
Design your career
When you join your first job you will see that most people will get busy in designing their travel vacation, but very few would design their career. Rather they believe in default mode and career happens to them instead of them creating their dream future. Why join them? Walk away from 97% of crowd and once you settle down a bit in your first job, take a weekend to design your dream career. Follow the outline below for making it more convenient.
Include your ultimate career goal. If you’re 23 years old right now, what would you want to be, let’s say 40 years from now? We know that it’s almost impossible to have a clear idea about it. But put it vaguely. As you move forward in your career, it will get clearer and clearer to you. Just remember the theme of work. Do you want more challenges? Do you like office premises more or outside market? Do you like interacting with your colleagues or like a lone corner in the office? If you still don’t get any idea, do your research. Find out who you are, what core values you have and what sort of talents and abilities you have. Then create a theme. Once you have a theme in your mind, write it down and divide it in 5 years milestones.
If you have to reach there 40 years from now, where you need to be after 5 years? There will be a lot of ambiguity but still write it down until you get the right thing. Once you’re done with five years, divide the first 5 years in 1 year milestones. 1 year from now where you would like to see yourself? Take a different sheet and write down where you would like to be in 1 year. It should be clearer than 5 years’ or 40 years’ vision of your career. Under that write down 4 goals that you need to achieve to be able to accomplish your 1 year milestone.
Suppose, you want to double your income in 1 year! Write that down and under that write down 4 goals you need to achieve to be able to accomplish your desired income. Then divide it in monthly, weekly goals and start working on them. You will be far ahead of the rest of the crowd if you decide to design your career in your first job. Your first job is very important as it sets the direction of your future ambition and future accomplishments.
Relationships are everything. When you tell about relationships most people think that it’s all about extracting what other people can do for you. Wrong! Rather it’s the exact opposite. It’s about what you can do for other people. Leadership guru Robin Sharma has a famous saying. He says – “Life is short. Help enough people.”
What if you take that plunge and start helping people from your first job. Yes when you join your first job you may feel that everyone around you is more experienced, smarter than you and better in business than you. But everyone has something to teach to everyone. So, you can simply help by offering a book or doing a recommendation, making a phone call or anything to help another person.
The best way to do that is to take a note book and write down the problems people are discussing. And once you write down, think whether you can help them with that or not. If you can, do your part. Eventually you will see that people all around you like you and feel obligated to help you. And you would build great relationships with all of them. Remember, you don’t need to fit in; but yes, you need to help people. Relationships are all about helping people. And it starts during your first job.
Grow each day
The journey of thousand miles begins with a single step. This is a common quotation for starting something new. But there’s one missing link here. We will add it for you. And it’s this – You need to take that single step every day. If you don’t take one step today, you’ve missed a day and you’ve also missed an opportunity to be better.
No matter what you do in your first job, the first thing is to make sure that it’s beyond your comfort zone. If it’s easy and not helping you go beyond your usual being, it’s a waste of time. So, seek out those opportunities every day. Find out one thing that you can do every day to get scared about. The best place to start is to start in your own domain.
Let’s take an example. Suppose, you’re in sales! And even if it’s your first job in sales, you’ve been successful with young people. Try a different segment now. Try out people who are in late forties. Talk to them. Make cold calls and see what happens. Scary, right! But do it anyway.
The journey of thousand miles begins with a single step and that single step of growth you need to take every day to be top at your game and to become a better professional.
Pursue continuous learning
One of the top universities in US reported that only 10% of the students who pass out choose to read after completing their schools. So, we can clearly say that there are 90% students who don’t. Do you like reading? If no, there are other alternatives. But you need to learn continuously since your first job.
If you think you’ve said good-byes to school and you don’t need to study anymore; then you will end up like 90% of the crowd do. If you choose to read a book a month, then you would be better than 90% of the crowd and would come among top 3% of professionals. If you can’t read, listen to the audio book. But learning has to be done. And you don’t need to read or listen to anything that you’re not interested in.
Simply choose the subject you like and read a book a month for a year. You will see a drastic difference in your knowledge, the way you work and the way you see the world.
Yes, reading and learning need commitment and hard work. And during your first job, you may feel that you need leisure, fun and excitement, but be grounded. If you want to make your mark in your career, you need to learn continuously. And the best time to start is during your first job.
Use the first job as a stepping stone
When you’re in your first job, it may seem difficult because you suddenly step beyond your educational horizon and step into a corporate environment. People are new. Things are new. Working environment is dynamic and often complex. And you are scared. We all know that feeling. First job is scary but at the same time is an opportunity to grow. In the beginning of a first job, you may get scared. It’s natural and let’s face it, we all get scared time to time. You get scared that means you’re stepping beyond your usual boundary and you’re growing. You’re put into an environment where everything seems strange. Get over that feeling as early as you can. And begin to realize that it’s stepping stone instead of a stumbling block. You’re learning and the first job catapults your learning ability.
In the beginning of your first job, talk to someone who can understand your situation and can empathize with you and give you good advice. Needless to say, you need to choose the person with care. Talk to that senior colleague and make a good connection. Ask him/her about anything you can help them with. And he/she will help you cope up with the new job and the challenges it offers.
Soon enough you will realize that your first job is offering you a ton of learning and you’re growing steadily in your corporate environment. Your world view is changing. You’re getting more matured and you’re becoming a better professional.
This is your first job. And a lot of bad things may happen. People may get rude to you. You may receive a ton of criticisms. You may not figure out how to make something tick right away. You may not be able to fit in and find troubles as you don’t. But still your first job is something you should cherish! Why?
- Before this job, you were unemployed. And still there’re many people who are waiting for their first job, but not being able to crack. So, even if it’s not that great, you’re an employed person because of your first job.
- Your first job has made you responsible. People around you started valuing you more. You become more accountable to yourself and others for your actions.
- It has ensured food on the table every day. There are 70% of people who go hungry every day.
- There are lot of people who are waiting to join the company you’re in now. This is your first job. You’re facing challenges. But you’re in. They’re not.
- Your first job is offering you a ton of opportunities to learn and grow every day. You’re getting better every day.
For the above reasons you need to be grateful. If you’re grateful, you will be in positive mind-set. If you’ve a positive mind-set, you will perform better. If you perform better, you will create better results and guess what you will get promoted eventually. Being grateful for whatever it is, you harness the power of a positive attitude in you.
The above are the 6 tips to rock your first job. If you pay close look, you will see that it’s not always related to your first job. But if you do the above regularly, they will significantly change your experience in your first job. Why? Because they’re fundamentals every professional should follow once they begin their career.
The usual scenario is taking things very casually when you join your first job. You’re still in the student mode. And you take time to be into the professional mode. That’s okay. Thing is as soon as you make the shift it’s better for you as a professional.
When you get your first job, it’s a lot of risk company takes. When they hire you, you don’t have any or very less experience. They trust you for your abilities and potential. And you begin. They invest time, effort, money and faith and you land your first job. So, never take your first job for granted. It’s a direction you set for your career. Learn, grow and get better as much as you can. And follow the above steps. Make sure you follow them as we’ve sequentially presented them. First you need to set a vision, and then you can gradually work toward it. And know that only one thing will set you apart from the rest of the crowd and that’s this question –
“Everyone can! The question is – Will you?”