On June 1, 2011 my father tweeted a series of tips for people who were starting their first jobs. Six months later, he compiled them in a blog post that’s still up on his website: 20 Tips For Your First Job.
Not many people know that I started working on June 1, 2011. This was his way of prepping me for the world I was about to enter. He had so much to say, so much valuable advice to give me, and of course he couldn’t just have a regular father-daughter talk. That would have been the expected thing to do. The easy thing to do.
Instead, he gave me something to go back to when I felt I was losing sight of the bigger picture. I’m not sure how many of them I followed (or continue to follow), but I often find my way back to that post and his voice is still as loud and clear as ever. At the end of the post, he wrote:
“A few people got back to me asking if I could expand the list – maybe some day, if there is sufficient interest, I will do a follow-up post.”
He never got the chance, but I’m going to give it a shot. Here are three more first job tips, one for each year that I have been working. While technically they can be linked to what has already been said, that just tells you how important the point is!
21. Read something new that’s relevant to your professional interests everyday. It could be related to the industry your organisation operates in, or it might have something to do with a current concern or focus like dealing with a difficult client, or working with a new manager.
22. Clarify what it is that is expected of you after a meeting. Make sure you clearly know what your “action points” are. Often, what the other person expects you to do is completely different from your understanding of the task.
23. Always make a first attempt at something that has been assigned to you, especially if you think that it is too difficult. This way, you have a better understanding of what the challenging bit really is, instead of just saying vaguely that “you don’t know how to do it”. Then, when you ask for help, whoever is helping you knows that you’ve really given it a shot and you’re not just being lazy. You’ll also get more specific advice that can help you complete the task better.
If you have more suggestions, let me know!