5 things to remember when you start your first job
| Sruthi Chandrasekar | - @sruthicha13
I was terrified when I started my first job just five days after my last undergraduate exam. Although I had previously interned at Influx a few months before, coming in as an employee felt completely different. I mean, I was walking into the company as a novice and had to work on how I wanted to be known. Now, it’s been a year and some and, over time, I have learnt a few things that have helped me cope and a few others that I am still discovering.
If you are starting on your first job and would like to dive in with some positivity, read on. Actually, even if you are not starting your first job, read on. :)
Here are the top five pointers that rank high on my list of what I have learnt so far at Influx. (BTW, I’m and still learning)
Do not be afraid to ask for help
As a fresher at work, you will always find yourself trying to prove what you are capable of. But that shouldn’t stop you from asking for help. Ask for help, but also do not expect someone else to finish your task for you. Work on what you can in your own way and then ask for help to understand how to do it better.
There will be people who might laugh at you for asking help in situations that might be easy for them. But there will also be people who are more than willing to help you at every step of the way. If all of you share the same common interest, which is to put out work of great quality representing your brand, the others will be very willing to help you.
Oh, what a preachy statement — “Stay Organised”. But listen up; if you are one of those people who has their day figured out and work in a scheduled pattern, then you will find yourself more content and happy at the end of every working day. I, on the other hand, was perhaps the most clueless and unorganised kid in those first few days. So, how did it change?
I found myself scrambling to barely get through a day at work. Not that I was bustling with a load of work, but I was finding hard to cope with even the tiniest tasks I had in hand.
So, one of the first things I started doing was planning my day well in advance. I make a list of all things due the next day on the previous night in the order of importance.
I started keeping a note/record of the projects or tasks I handle in a day. When a confusion arises, it’s easier for you to keep a track of what has gone down.
React positively to criticism
Something that I have been lucky to have at Influx, something I have been constantly told by my boss, is that when feedback on work is given, its nothing personal. So, you need not get worked up because of it. Instead, when someone — or whoever you report to — asks you to redo something say, twenty times, try and identify where exactly you are going wrong. You need to remember that these people are not criticising you but merely providing feedback on your work.
This is something that I have learned over time and can confidently say that it has helped me perform better once I started accepting feedback as it is and not as “negative” criticism.
Over time, your internal radar will develop well and you will be able to differentiate between positive feedback and plain criticism.
Do not be afraid to ask
Ask questions. And by questions, I don’t mean, “Sir/Madam, can I please go to the washroom?” or “Can I please drink some water?”.
When you are told something, listen and understand. Then, if you don’t understand, ask questions: “Why?” and “How?” You will find that when you pose the question, “Why?”, you will always understand the cause better which will, in turn, help you complete the given task easily and more efficiently. And also, once you get your answer, don’t forget what the question was. Try and absorb so you never have to repeat the same question again.
Nurture a healthy curiosity
Be willing to learn. Young adults these days are very proactive and work on gaining work experience while finishing their undergrad degree. I, on the other hand, had no work experience whatsoever. The only time I had even stepped into a formal workplace was when I was interning at Influx.
So when I joined the company as an employee, I walked in with a clean slate and a fresh mind. Involve yourself as much as you can in the company’s day to day activities and projects. Don’t pry; observe.
Stay confident. Don’t say “I can’t”, say “I’ll try!”. I am still learning to be confident and still learning new things that will keep adding on to performing better tomorrow.
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences from your first job. So please do share them with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Good luck and Cheers!
Sruthi Chandrasekar is a junior marketing executive at Influx. With a degree in business administration from Madras Christian College, Chennai, this vivacious and bubbling with enthusiasm young lady loves to read and research new branding concepts and topics. She currently assists with our marketing and branding exercises and video campaigns.