I Got My First Job, What Next?
You go through the interview process, you wonder if you will get picked and then you get that exhilarating email/phone call “Good news! You are among the candidates selected for this role…”
You go through the motions of negotiations for your salary and other benefits and then you are told when to show up for your first day of work. How thrilling and you almost can’t keep calm.
Here are some helpful tips that will help you fit in well in your first job. I have applied them in my few years of employment (5+ years) whenever I got into a new job/role:
* Phone etiquette
I will forever be grateful to one of my first supervisors — Kanza Musyoka who taught me the importance of how to handle phone conversations at work. The basics of any official phone etiquette at the workplace are: To start with a warm greeting, always introduce yourself and the company then go ahead to state the reason for your call.
While most companies don’t have rules about answering personal phone calls in the office, I have always found it good manners to silent my ringer while in the office and especially in meetings. If you need to answer a personal call, it’s easier to move away to a private spot in the office or just simply take a walk outside the working area so that your workmates are not distracted.
* Email etiquette
It is important to use a clear subject in your emails and to remember to respond directly to the person (if need be) instead of using the default “reply-all” when responding to large email threads. Remember that emails often remain in the company database so avoid having personal conversations with external parties using your work email.
This varies depending on the company or the role you are in. My one piece of advice would be to remember that generally, people treat you how you dress. So keeping a casual look works if you are in a company that has no dress code policy but don’t expect that if you wear your pyjamas to work no one will stare and treat you differently.
It’s a general rule to look smart whether in casual or fully official. Dressing up inappropriately will definitely make you stand out and if on the extreme can cost you your job.
* Lunch breaks
Oh, the sacred lunch hour breaks! On the first day of work, it might be tempting to look like you are quite busy and will want to shorten your lunch break so that you can quickly go back to your desk. Please don’t fall into this temptation. Lunch break is there for a reason, everyone needs a few minutes to relax and recharge before going back to work.
This is the best time to get to know your workmates better, to know what else they like to do apart from being in the office. I remember in one of my first jobs where it was like an unspoken rule that no one talked about work during lunch break.
You are now earning a source of income for the first time or getting better pay than in your previous job. Start to save your earnings from the first month so that you can cultivate the spending habit. Most people fall into a trap thinking that they need to earn an amount “x” in order to save amount “y”.
Start saving as soon as you can, you won’t regret it.
What are some of the tips you have found helpful so far? Please add to the list as a comment below.
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