Q&A: I’m Nervous About Making Mistakes at My First Ever Job. Do You Have Any Advice for Me?
Accept that mistakes will happen, and that’s okay. Don’t forget that there is a reason why you were hired in the first place.
I promise you that no one is perfect at their first job (or their fifteenth). There are certain things, however, you can do to make yourself more confident and successful, so I’ll list a few tips that I think you should keep in mind when you start a new job.
Don’t get pulled into office politics and water cooler gossip! It just adds unnecessary stress, and it can come back to bite you. It’s not you job to find out who your coworker, Mary, kissed after the Christmas party or to snitch on the guy who watches Netflix when he should be working.
You can (and should!) make friends, but avoid the drama.
Focus on doing kick-ass work, and the rest doesn’t matter.
It can be intimidating to admit that you don’t know something, but it’s the only way you’ll learn. Trust me, your boss would rather that you ask questions now than a month down the road when you’re first big project is almost due. You might even consider finding a mentor who can help you tackle tough situations.
Not only will you feel more confident at your current job but asking questions also helps you to get the most out of your work in terms of valuable experience and knowledge. You can learn more about your chosen profession in a matter of weeks through on-the-job experience than you did during a semester at college.
That experience is incredibly valuable, especially considering that people aren’t staying at a job for as long as they used to. Your goal should be to learn everything you can to prepare for your next career move.
And, as you settle into your role, remember to stay curious! Look for ways to expand your role. Ask for new projects. Never stop finding new challenges.
Obviously showing up to work on time is important, but punctuality in meeting deadlines, replying to communications, and performing daily tasks is equally essential.
Missing a homework deadline in school may not have been a big deal, but in the workplace, your coworkers, customers, or boss are counting on you to be reliable. If you find yourself struggling to make a deadline, tell your supervisor as soon as possible. You should be able to tell pretty quickly if a deadline is unreasonable, and a good boss should be able to help you make it more manageable.
With that being said, it’s your job to practice good productivity habits and work efficiently.