10 Things I Learned From My First Job

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.

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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.

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

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Hallie has worked in beauty editorial for ten years and has been editorial director at Byrdie since 2021. Previously, she was a senior editor at Byrdie since 2016. During her time at Byrdie, she's written hundreds of high-performing stories on skincare, wellness (including fitness, diet, mental health, body image, et al) makeup, and hair. She's a regular on set, helping to source inspiration for makeup and hair looks, as well as interviewing celebrities, models, and other notable women and men in the beauty space.

Before that, Hallie ran Marie Claire's social media and wrote beauty and culture stories for the site, and helped launch Time Inc.'s digital-only beauty brand, MIMI. After college, she contributed to Time Out New York’s Shopping & Style section before landing her first beauty editor gig at Hearst's Real Beauty. Hallie's writing has also appeared in ELLE, Cosmopolitan, and InStyle. Hallie graduated with a BA in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.