7 Common Mistakes To Avoid At Your First Real Job
Getting a job is still pretty difficult, even with the multitude of technology at our fingertips. The easiest part about job hunting these days is that most jobs can be applied for online. Cutting back on the in-person application has cut down on pollution and allowed potential workers the freedom to continue training as they apply for other jobs.
When a person finally has the job, depending on what they’ll be doing, must be mindful of their probationary period. Here are a few things you should avoid when you finally land that job you’ve been wanting:
1. If You’re On Time, You’re Late
A few jobs that exist now can be done right at home from the comfort of a living room couch. But when your job requires you to commute two cities over or further, you must always factor travel time into your daily routine.
Assuming you have the time and luxury of only a handful of cars on the road might not turn out so well. Think about the possibility of long trains, having to walk upstairs, and the occasional traffic accident.
Author C.K. Gunsalus says, “Let’s say that you’re late and you arrive in a fluster. You’ve shown yourself to be a person who doesn’t think things through, anticipate, and prepare.”
2. A Little Too Buddy Buddy
There is absolutely nothing wrong with forming friendships at work. In fact, it’s often been proven to help improve the team’s ethic and output. While it is okay to make friends, you do not want to be perceived as being unfamiliar with personal boundaries.
“What’s particularly important is understanding the difference between being ‘friends’ and being ‘friendly’,” explains Gunsalus. It is important to make a distinction between your personal and professional lives.
Test the waters first and simply be friendly. Once you’ve got an idea of how things flow and you’re more comfortable with co-workers, then consider if you’d like to ‘friend’ someone or add them to your follow list.
3. You Act Like You Know Everything
I have had a variety of jobs and so have never really had the opportunity to show that I knew much about any of them. Aside from the typical training that everyone receives, there wasn’t much else to know.
Remember, though, when you are starting out that you are the ‘new guy.’ Training will still happen down the line, so there is nothing wrong with getting a few pointers. If you’re stuck, ask for help.
“It’s important to know how to say I don’t know,’ explains Gunsalus. “Asking questions is a marker of somebody who wants to learn.”
4. You Skip The Office Tour
The size of the building and type of employment often determine the length of your training at each respective job. It is important to get familiar with the territory and know where everything is in the event no one is around to ask.
If you’re offered a tour of the office, take it. “This is the time to introduce yourself and build relationships.” states author Lindsey Pollak. You might just end up hitting it off with someone you’d like to have on your team.
Get your nose out of the screen and take a walk.
5. You Check Your Phone – Constantly
At this point, most people working a job will have a cellular phone either in their pocket or bag. The older generation, though, might be less guilty of this. “…Millennials, in particular, have a reputation for being tech-addicted and always behind a screen,” states author Pollak. “Be sensitive to the fact that that stereotype exists.”
Seriously, the Snapchat about your new job can wait till the end of your shift. If you’re expecting an important call, let your boss know the moment you step in. “…But if that starts to become a pattern, it defines you as a professional.”
6. You Skim The Benefits Package Fine Print
Retirement plans are an important part of the employment. Ensure that you read through your company’s possible retirement package. Not every company will offer the same benefits which are why it is important to know what your employer offers and then make a decision based on your current situation.
7. You Wing a Meeting
For some jobs, ‘winging it’ might actually pay off. But if you’re going to a board room meeting, you will want to develop some sort of game plan. According to Lindsey Pollak, “A meeting absolute starts before you’re ever in the room.” Ask your manager what your purpose in the meeting is and if you need to note down what is discussed.
If you know what material will be discussed at the meeting, go over it even if you’re not sure you’ll be asked any question about it.