10 Things I Learned From My First Job

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.

Most Popular
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

1. Mistakes will happen—try not to dwell. You probably care a ton about your job, and chances are that you distort your responsibility when things go awry: "Oh, I should have known that even though no one told me!" "Clearly I should have been able to read my boss's mind." Often times, major mistakes in the workplace are due to multiple people's actions, not only your lack of telepathy.

2. If they give an inch, don't take a mile. It's so great to have bosses that let you take a personal day or don't mind if you take a long lunch. However, if you start regularly taking advantage, it's bad news.

Most Popular

3. Avoid gossip. Your office may feel like a high school cafeteria at times but it's not, and getting caught up in office chatter will not only make you look less professional, you'll probably get yourself in trouble.

4. Talk less, listen more. It's easy to assume that the more you participate, the more you will stand out in the workplace. While that can be true, you will probably learn the most in your first job when you're listening and observing.

5. Don't get wasted. Definitely go out for happy hour with coworkers, but limit yourself to one drink. You just don't want to have Bridget Jones moments on repeat.

6. Your boss is not your bestie. No matter how awesome, nice, and cool they are, they still write your reviews. It's important to keep your relationship in the professional realm—you can still be you, just not the TMI version of you.

7. Staying informed is key. Read/watch/listen to the news as often as you can.

8. Steer clear of leaving early. Get to work before your bosses and try to leave after they do, even if it's just a couple minutes. You don't need to sit around twiddling your thumbs if all of your work is done, but it's never a bad idea to start on a project for the next day if it means they see you're working hard.

9. Be resourceful. Google first, then ask.

10. Your first job will probably not be the job. If you don't score your ideal job on the first try, relax! You can learn something from any position (and there's also the necessary evil of paying your dues). Working in the service industry or as an assistant will probably make you a better person in the long run. Want to be a beauty editor? Work in a hair salon. That behind-the-scenes experience is priceless.

Photo Credit: Giphy

Related Stories


10 Things You Should Never Say to a Fashion Girl


5 Tips to Suriving a Terrible Manager


The Irrational Fear That's Keeping You From That Raise

Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani
Career
Share
Reshma Saujani Wants to Fix the Tech "Bravery Deficit" in Girls
Career
Share
The GE Executive Pulling Women Up the Ladder with Her
Created for GE
Career
Share
Are You a Female Doctor? You're Probably Getting Paid Less Than Your Male Coworkers
Career
Share
Gretchen Carlson's Lawyer Opens Up About Her Case, Sexual Harassment at Fox News, and Taking on the Most Powerful Man in Media
Career
Share
You're Better at Negotiating Than You Think You Are
Career
Share
The Surprising Connections Between Swimming with Sharks and Talking to Famous People
Career
Share
That Time I Stopped Explaining Myself—and Then Got Everything I Wanted
Career
Share
How I Started a Mega-Successful Company at 26—Without a Business Plan
Career
Share
The Power of Sorry: The New CEO of Lands' End Explains the Lessons She's Learned While Rising to the Top
Career
Share
What 5 Young Women with 5 Very Different Salaries Can Afford