Your first job has almost the same impact on you as a your first heartbreak. Right from getting your first pay cheque in hand to handling some serious deadlines, all these memories will forever hold a special place in your heart. There were days where you might have broken down mentally, got into an ugly fight with your boss, or even lost a valuable client! But look at the brighter side, you gained experience in return - and that’s something no textbook will teach you. Here’s a list of 10 things only your first job teaches you.
1. Deadlines, Deadlines Everywhere!
Back in college, you could conveniently afford to play around with your project deadlines, but that’s not the same deal with your first job. Your professor may have let you off the hook, but your boss is slightly different. Think of it as a domino effect - if you slack and miss the deadline, the rest of your colleagues will do so too. You don’t want to put your entire team into that pile of confusion now, do you?
2. Keeping Things Professional
You should know when to draw the line when it comes to bonding with your colleagues. Enjoy the good times, and try not to get too involved with their personal lives. Keep things professional - this goes for your emotions as well. The last thing you want anyone to do is to use your own weaknesses against you.
3. You Learn to Develop a Work Ethic
“First impressions are lasting ones” - the same phrase goes for your first job. Your first job can either make or break your career. Your seniors are constantly watching your every move, and if you can deliver on time and beat deadlines, you’ve passed the test in their eyes!
4. You Learn to Appreciate Weekends
During college, Saturday and Sunday nights meant hardcore partying. It’s a little different when you’re working. Not like you’ll give the Saturday night life away, but you’ll start to cut down on them. All you want to do is relax and catch a good night’s sleep. Your first job will make you learn the art of prioritizing things in life!
5. Every Penny Counts
You may earn peanuts on your first job, but they’re gold nuggets in your eyes. It’s your own hard-earned money, and yes, you will not have the heart to spend it too foolishly! Your Pop’s popular line about “Money not growing on trees” will finally make sense to you!
6. How to Be Tough
Don’t expect a pat on your back and a shiny gold star at your first job. Instead, you will learn how to deal with challenges, pressure and company expectations. People are going to throw at you harsh criticism and feedback from all directions. So you cannot let your emotions get involved with your profession. Don’t stress, you’ll learn how to deal with it eventually.
7. Be Open to Learning New Things
Your mind in office has to be like a sponge. It has to absorb all the knowledge and skill it can. In some workplaces, you are just thrown into learning things without people taking your opinion into consideration. You may not like what you do, but it will pay off in the long run.
8. You Can’t Bunk Office When You Feel Like It
You could do that in college, but definitely not here. It’s the real deal here. People want to see results and assess your performance. Nothing is taken lightly here, and it’s not a place for cheesy excuses. If you want an off, you have to apply for leave much in advance - unless you fall ill or have an emergency. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee!
9. Your Work Matters
Your boss doesn’t care if you’re wearing an uber-expensive outfit or you own a Merc - what he does give a damn about is your quality of work. He wants to get the work done and see results. The importance of attention to detail, punctuality, research and effort are some good lessons you’ll pick up on your first job.
10. The Importance of Creating a Social Network
You may not be much of a people person, but here you will be pushed to socialize. You’ll learn to adapt and gel with the people you don’t even like. It might make you uncomfortable at first, but it gets you a plenty of important contacts in return! And the more contacts you have, the chances of you getting a better next job double. ;)