Four things they don't tell you about your first job (but should)

August 11, 2016
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You got a job? Congratulations! The Liberal Party’s jobs and growth slogan thanks you kindly. Not only do they not have to pay you Newstart Allowance, but you get to experience what it’s really like in your first job.

Whether you’re a legal secretary or a receptionist or even a grocery attendant, we can all relate to doing the hard yards - competition in the ‘real world’ is tough. If you haven’t gotten your first job yet, don’t sweat. But I wouldn’t exactly rest on savings either. To help you navigate the complex job world, here are four things they don’t tell you about your first real job (but should).

Competition is a horrible thing and it’s everywhere

Especially if you work in an environment with plenty of managers and plenty of staff at the same level as you (like at Target for example).

Everywhere you look, someone is doing the same job as you are and they’re trying to so it better than you. Why? Because the better you do a job, the more shifts you get and the more money you earn So it’s like you have to impress the managers (when it’s darn obvious they’re looking over your shoulder) while still trying to look like a sane human being.

My best advice if you haven’t got a job yet or aren’t too good at dealing with competition? Think of the money you’ll miss out on if you don’t get that last shift!

You’ll make a lot of mistakes

... and at least in my experience, mistakes will make up 75 per cent of the things your boss notices when you work. However, it also makes perfect sense. Mistakes matter when you’re in the workplace because your errors could impact colleagues, potential business, and you’re your chances of progressing to the next stage of employment. So try and limit your mistakes because no one wants to lose out on a big deal because of you.

I recently found out in one of my jobs that the very fact I’m producing content that attracts readers is what keeps my boss reasonably afloat. You never quite know the power what you can offer a business is until your manager tells you.

You have to make things fun for yourself

If you’re not used to laughing, or just not that smiley, you’re in a bit of trouble.

One unwritten rule of the working world seems to be that you have to add energy even when times are tough. Sure you need to be serious and give everything110 per cent, but you still owe everyone at least one laugh and one smile (and a whole lot of profit if you’re in a sales role that is).

So keep this unwritten rule in mind when you get your first job. And just remember - if you’ve not given yourself a smile today then that’s probably where you should start. Happiness does have an impact. Trust me.

Now’s your chance to have the time of your life

This is your moment to make some money, bring some laughter and make others happy. You don’t have to face things alone - that’s the best thing about working with a team that you’re comfortable around. You’ll get used to the fact that working with a great team is as equally important as the paycheque at the end of the month.

So go on - give it a go. Best of luck with whatever job you have or are going to get. Have the time of your life!

Hans Lee

Hans Lee is a Commerce/Arts student at Macquarie University. You can hear him Friday mornings on 2SER FM in Sydney and tweet him: @hansleetweets.

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