First Jobs—Do’s and Don’ts


by Jobbinghood Editor’s desk

So, you’re out of college. You are facing the dilemma of having to decide what is the best field to work on. You may have an idea of what you want to do, but very often external factors end up influencing on your decision on the last minute. 

After several moments (or days, or weeks, or months—whatever time you need in order to find your answer) of deep meditation and consideration, you already know what you want to work in, which field you are interested in and which job is fits your expectations best.

Now, depending on what you studied, on what companies you’re applying to and what tools you are using to apply, you might have offers pouring in your lap… or not a single reply for your emails or a call from an employer. But either way, you have a college degree. You know you are of use to the workforce. Employers know it too. So, just keep going and learn from the process and sooner rather than later you will get that call and that so wanted position you have been going after. 

And then, after going through the interview process (perhaps several times), you have landed a job. What do you do now? How do you behave? What’s expected of you? 

The answer is simple—ASK.

This is the start of our “Beginners Guide for First Jobs; Do’s and Don’ts” title too long to be on the header. But you read it right: ask. High-key the most useful tool in a beginner’s repertoire (or in anyone’s, really).

Don’t make the mistake of being afraid to ask for guidance. Do it at the interview even. Ask all you can about what’s expected from you, or any inquiries or doubts you may have. Most interviewers like to be asked questions. It shows interest and confidence in yourself. Once you are there in action, if not a co-worker, maybe ask your superior (it may seem crazy to many, but it’s actually a very good thing do!)

You are far more productive with guidance than without it. Remember that. They know this is your first job. They know you don’t know everything. So don’t pretend to do so. 

Aside from asking questions, let’s go back to that last line on the previous paragraph. 

Don’t pretend to know everything. Be humble. You have a great education and your skill set is A1. But you still need to adjust to the way of things of your co-workers and superiors. It also doesn’t hurt to have all the insight you can from everyone that has been there before you. 

Don’t try too hard to impress. Overdoing is not only a common mistake, but it’s also very easy to recognize. Take initiative, be insightful, work hard, be on time and do as asked or more. Let that be your calling card. Not your words. Is highly unlikely that effort goes unnoticed. It happens, of course, but that’s not on you. You can only worry about what is in your hands.

And last but not least; don’t be afraid to fail or embarrassed when you do. Unless you forgot about ASKING, there is a learning curve. There is no time in the day to go over every detail. There are things you just don’t know, such as not knowing that a certain vendor does things a certain way and not the way you were taught. It’s also very likely that as knowingly inexperienced, your responsibilities will not exceed by much your capabilities. So be very prudent, ask if any doubt, but if you make a mistake you’re not supposed to know you are making, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just learn from it.

This may seem a little exhaustive, but in practice it’s rather simple. Searching and finding your first job is an invaluable experience to learn and grow, not only as a professional in your field, but as a person as well. See the infinite opportunities around you, and learn from them. Nobody is born being good at something, and your superiors and co-workers are there for you to support you and guide you when needed.

Now you will be ready to front any job that may come in your way. Askwork hard, and be humble. Those are the things you must remember in order to make the most out of your first job!

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