Dealing with your first job

Photo Courtesy of Free Digital Photos

Photo Courtesy of Free Digital Photos



By Staff Writer

Making a good impression and learning how to handle your first entry level job is critical to your career success down the line. Are you mature enough for this first job? If so you might make an impression that lasts throughout your entire career. If not you could make an impression you don’t want and that will follow you throughout your career.

A good example of how important your entry level first job can be is this: A young 17 year old started her first entry level job in a fast food restaurant. She decides not to go to college and instead stays at her job, getting small promotions along the way. By the time she is 30 she is a manager and by 35 a general manager. She is a tremendous success because she handled her first entry level job extremely well.

On the other hand another 17 year old decided not to go to college but rather went to work in a retail establishment. He didn’t apply himself and the job didn’t last. Neither did the next one and the next one. He is 37 now and still can’t hold down a job because he started off all wrong.

So now let’s look at the Carleton University graduate who is looking for her first entry level job. How should she handle this first real career opportunity? It is a whole new world and just a little bit of knowledge will help you get through your first few years in good shape. Here are just a few tips to help you through it.

Differences between College and First Job

  • You have to take things more seriously than you did in college. For some people this seems almost impossible as school was such a serious endeavor for them. However if you got something wrong on a test or a paper in school, you were the only person affected by this.

Now if you make a mistake in the lab and read a test result wrong, someone’s life might be at risk. In business, your company, your boss, your colleagues might all be affected by your one mistake.

  • Attitude is everything in the real world. No matter how hard you work, no matter how successful your work is – if your attitude is poor you might not get fired but don’t expect to be promoted. A positive attitude is required in the workforce.
  • We know you are smart and you know all about your ‘potential’. Well now is the time for that potential to be fulfilled. Your boss will not care about potential. They only care about results. Smarts and potential will not get you promoted. Results and achievements will get you promoted.
  • Time off is a shock to a lot of entry level workers coming from college. First of all you have to request time off at Christmas and New Year’s. It is not automatic and even though you might request it off you might not get it. You might only be off on the Holiday itself. There is also a culture shock when you find out that you get two weeks of time off a year and nothing more.

If you keep these and other differences in mind as you move into the workforce and if you apply yourself, you will certainly succeed.






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