So, you have your first proper job to look forward to – congratulations! Before you get too excited about that first paycheck, have a look at these five things you need to know before starting your first job:
You Don’t Keep Everything You Earn
One of the hardest lessons you learn when you start your first job is that you don’t get to keep all the money you earn. Some of your money gets taken in taxes, usually after you fill out the forms which should be provided by your employer.
You’ll likely also need to start filing an individual tax return every year now. This can be necessary even if you’re working for yourself babysitting or doing odd jobs for neighbours and earning over a certain amount.
You Can Make Certain Mistakes
Some mistakes, like turning up late, being rude to customers, or behaving badly on the job are not likely to be the kind you can repeat multiple times. No employer will put up with an employee who appears to have little respect for their job.
What it is okay to do is make honest mistakes as you learn. You might assume you are expected to do the job perfectly right away but that isn’t the case. Ask as many questions as you need to, and try your hardest – this is the right time to make mistakes.
Science tells us that potential employers can judge your appearance and suitability for the job as early as the initial introduction. Of course, you have the job now, so you did a great job at impressing your new boss! However, that doesn’t mean you can let your standards drop.
Unlike college where it may have been okay to wear the same clothes to class for a week, your standards have to be raised if you wish to hold onto your job. You don’t have to douse yourself in essential oils every day, but you are expected to smell fresh and look presentable.
Doing The Bare Minimum Is Rarely Enough
If you’re the kind of person that scraped by in college, you’re going to need to change your ways if you want to do well in your first job. No matter what the job is, there is always a way to be more proactive and helpful in every shift.
Don’t be the person who runs out the door as soon as your shift is done or who slacks off once their quota of work is finished. Such behavior won’t impress your boss, and it isn’t teamwork either.
Put in plenty of effort now and you’ll make a great impression, boosting your potential in this job whilst also guaranteeing a great reference for future employment opportunities.
Teamwork Does Make The Dreamwork
A large study showed that as many as one in three people consider leaving a job because of a coworker they dislike. Not many people actually leave for that reason, though, because almost every job will involve you working with someone you don’t exactly love – it’s just the way it goes. In this all-important first job, learning to stay professional, mature, and polite with colleagues will stand you in good stead for your whole career.
“The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.” – Jonas Salk
The tips above can help you do well in your first job, giving you a head start before that first big day even comes around. Soon enough, you’ll be impressing your boss and planning how to spend that first paycheck!