Tips For A Successful First Year On The Job

Career New Professionals Students

If you are a student preparing for graduation, you might have been proactive and squared away a job for the summer. As you enter your new career you will begin to recognize that your first year is a transition stage, where you are no longer a student, but you are not quite a professional yet, either. All new professionals, regardless of their prior academic standing, will experience this transition. No matter how much success you may have had academically, it doesn’t automatically apply to your career.

Luckily, you start your career with a clean slate. With this comes independence, as well as a myriad of critical decisions (should you go with the pink or the purple drapes?) and life changing experiences. The decisions that you make, and the resulting events, will have a major impact on your career.

Some things to keep in mind during your first year:

  • Seek opportunities for professional and personal development. Many companies provide training sessions and incentives for employees interested in education related to their position.
  • Don’t procrastinate; prioritize your life. It may have been easy in College to wait until the last minute to complete an assignment and still get a good grade, but that kind of stuff will not work in the business world. When you set your deadlines, give yourself plenty of time to meet them.
  • Never stop learning. Ask lots of questions and show interest in what you are doing- this will pay off from both an informational point of view, as well as an image point of view. Your boss will like the fact that you are not content to simply “know what you know”.
  • Accept responsibility. Looking for someone to blame will only make you look weak and incapable. Instead, own up to the mistakes that you make and take responsibility for the consequences. This will keep your conscience clear, as well as your reputation.
  • Stay healthy. Avoid sinking into a poor routine of bad diet and lack of exercise. Eat a balanced diet, rich in proteins and varied nutrition. Establish good sleeping habits (and stick to them). Remember that mom or dad are not around to take care of you when you are sick, so make sure that you simply get sick less often! Balance is the key.
  • Be prepared for your emotions. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself becoming increasingly more overwhelmed. There is a lot going on in your life right now; moments where it seems like too much is going on are going to happen.
  • Keep track of your money. Work out a budget and stick to it. Make sure that you are saving at least 10% of your income, and never spend more than you can afford. Living within your means will save you from unmanageable debt later.

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15 thoughts on “Tips For A Successful First Year On The Job

  1. Ugggh. I won’t start with my shenanegans about how you should hook up with your hot boss and keep her satisfied in the copy machine room etc. Or on her desk afterhours, whichever she’s into more.
    Just be sure to make it blatantly clear it’s just an office fling and you won’t marry her or anything like that.

    1. Jeff, better to go at it with the hot boss and the hot manager at the same time. You don’t want to get stuck in a routine where you’re only keeping the boss satisfied.

  2. great tips! i started my first job about 8 months ago at an internet company and these tips are absolutely correct!

    1. Yeah I have been through a couple of jobs recently and have to agree with all the above, very good advice

  3. Excellent tips Jane.
    Being among the fruitfully un-employed, I can’t comment on the “on the job” part of the advice, but I must say your bullet points are a great selection of ideas.
    Only I would re-title this to “Tips For a Successful LIFE”!
    Really, can anyone be truly successful at any stage of any life or career while completely ignoring even one of those points? Probably not, or at least not for long. Which is why I said that you’ve hit upon a great list of points. They’re deceptively “simple” yet cover everything.

  4. And volunteer for tasks that are outside your normal role. Don’t pigeonhole yourself. It is the worst thing you can do – getting the reputation that you only do a..b..c and nothing else.

  5. LOL…You’re speaking of ‘the’ OFFLINE world, where you have to deal with people–which in my opinion, is one of the coolest thing about offline J.O.B. I can do all those above, but staying ‘active’ and healthy is quite challenging, since I’m now online most of the time.

  6. By the way Jane, care to leak the ‘template name’ of this site so I can clone it for my other site =?

  7. I use to be an employee, but now I decided to have my own business. My tips :
    -Read books about self development.
    -Be initiative

  8. my suggestion would be to show initiative to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves . . . . i got a mgmt position for a project after working at a Big 4 in less than 3 weeks on the job because of this . . . don’t be afraid to take chances because the worst thing that can happen to you as a first year is that they say “no”

  9. Great tips! I wish I had them when I just started out.
    I have some tips too since I am not so “new” now.
    Do not be afraid to take on more than you are supposed to do. You will learn more than others and bosses are looking for people with initiative. You will be rewared much more later by your bosses.
    Even when you get a new job, your work experience will be much broder.
    Try to be nice to everyone first. Being new to the company, you do not know who is in charge. Do not offend anyone and keep good relationship with everyone till you find out more.
    Read this great report by Bob Proctor about attraction accelerator. You can attract the job that you want. Believe it and do it.
    Cheng Cheng

  10. # Keep track of your money. I lost sight of that one and am paying for it now. Literally.

  11. “Never stop learning.”
    I think that is the key.
    When I began my job I listened and learned at work, all day every day. Now that I know the answers I don’t listen as much, but I am constantly reading while at home and in my spare time at work.

  12. Great advice, personally I think the never stop learning point is one of the most important, things change fast, it is important to keep up to date / stay ahead of the game….

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