Whether you are new to the workplace or still looking for the right place to start, here are a few things to keep in mind to make your first working experience a successful one.
#1. You show a great deal about who you are in your approach to your work. Demonstrate that you respect yourself enough to honor your commitment to your job. Be willing to give your best and be happy to be useful.
#2. Be courteous. Are you pleasant to work with? Are your co-workers happy to spend time with you? Look carefully at your behavior. Employers want employees who can get along with everyone and are pleasant to be around. Never put people down or engage in mean gossip, or allow others to gossip to you. Keep both your promises and your confidences.
#3. Make sure you are never late. Being late must never be more than a rare occurrence. Show that you are both dependable and responsible.
#4. Truly make it a habit to think before you speak. Communicate as clearly as you can and always speak with respect.
#5. Being a good listener is a skill that few fail to appreciate. This skill alone will help you immensely and when coupled with not interrupting others, will greatly contribute to your on-the-job success.
#6. Make sure to dress appropriately. Overly suggestive clothes are not for the workplace. Dress the way the person responsible for your promotions expects you to dress.
#7. You may find that now is a good time to change how you manage your time. Work on developing the habit of planning ahead; for instance, make sure your work clothes are clean and that you have gas in your car well ahead of time. You may want to start a few new routines such as using a daily planner. Take the necessary actions to remain organized and to adjust to your new responsibilities.
#8. Approach every job challenge and difficult situation as an opportunity to increase both your workplace and your interpersonal skills.
#9. Whatever your job, remember that there is dignity in work, and great satisfaction can be gained from knowing you do your particular job well and give your best.
#10. Don’t forget that the contacts you make during your first job may turn out to be life changing and affect the course of future events. For instance, leaving a lasting good impression with your employer may go a long way. You may need another job in the future or a strong personal reference for college or for a better job!
Tina Pestalozzi is the author of Life Skills 101: A Practical Guide to Leaving Home and Living on Your Own, available at www.TheLifeSkillsBook.com. She is the director of Global Protocol and Etiquette Services; presenting seminars on civility and business etiquette to corporate, government and educational organizations.