4 Mistakes Most Young Professionals Make In Their First Job-But You Won't Have To Be One Of Them!
I am so excited to be sharing my insights on the biggest mistakes most young professionals make on their first job--or maybe the first few jobs!
The good news is that I always got your back so you can be confident that you won’t be one of the ones to make these mistakes. Lets jump in!
When I got my first few jobs out of college, I struggled HARD. I made every single one of these mistakes and often came home crying wondering why things had to be so difficult. It wasn’t until I realized that I was definitely not alone in making newbie mistakes and I was more concerned that nobody talks about these types of things before you go into the professional world!
Mistake Number 1.) Waiting to get feedback and direction from your supervisor or boss instead of asking.
Because in college we are so trained to listen really carefully and only do work when directed to, this wouldn’t seem like a mistake at first glance. But the thing is that in an office, your coworkers and boss rely on you taking action when you see a need and don’t necessarily talk to you every day! So what I encourage you to do is take action when you see a need and don’t be afraid to ask for more if you find yourself sitting around bored!
Let’s talk about feedback for a second. Again, in college we are directed to do an assignment and then we get feedback regarding our work as a grade. Well, you get graded in the office but only once or twice a year! So it is very important to ask how you can be doing more and if there is anything you can improve on regularly. It will not only be helpful to you, but when you ask for constructive criticism it shows that you are excited to learn and grow in order to be a valuable asset to the team and company!
Oversharing with coworkers and mixing personal life with work life a little too much.
Ohh lordy, this is a big one. It can be so easy to get caught up in a gossip train at the office and I am here to warn you ahead of time...DON’T DO IT! Just don’t even start and if you can tell right away that someone is gossipy just politely keep them an arms length away.
It is so easy to get caught up in office gossip partly because the few people in your office may be the only ones who can relate to what you are complaining about. When we go home and talk to our roommates, parents or significant others they often have no insight and don’t really care. But the fire is easily fueled with your office peers and that fire will grow into a danger zone real quick!
So, when it comes to being both professional and friendly in the office I recommend that you share fun weekend plans (accept wild nights out and boyfriend/girlfriend drama...but that goes without saying, yes?!) and ask the other person questions that you can follow up about later on! When you begin to have little conversations about your coworkers backyard BBQ or kids birthday and then follow up to see how it went on Monday you make them feel special!
Here’s a bonus little tip for ya: when you feel like someone is gossiping at you and trying to get you to join in, politely say something like “I understand your concerns but I just don’t feel comfortable talking about this here and I would like to keep my relationship to (person) as positive as I can”. Easy yes? #boundaries
Feeling either underwhelmed or overwhelmed without any idea how to achieve a balance!
Most entry level jobs tend to go from one extreme to the other, and it is your responsibility to know how to balance your work like and mental health! Both of these scenarios bring on the Sunday Scaries 100%.
In a job that is very underwhelming, the days can feel like years and oftentimes you find yourself counting the seconds until you quickly shut your computer and rush out the door at 5 o’clock on the dot!
Well not only does this look bad in the eyes of your boss and coworkers, but odds are that you are not really putting out good work during the time you are there. I am willing to bet you hate your job too...because I know from experience that being bored in a cubicle for 8 hours a day 5 days a week is the closest I have ever been to imagining what being in solitary confinement would be...dramatic much?
On the flip side, when you are intensely overwhelmed, it seems like there is not enough time in the day and you can’t keep up with your work which means your a disorganized mess...and it probably shows!
Here is what you should do. No matter if you are overwhelmed or underwhelmed I want you to write out all of your daily, weekly and monthly tasks/meetings on one piece of paper. Next to each item, write down how much time it takes you. Now, write down on a scale from 1-10 the amount of anxiety each one gives you and if you feel you need more support or if you can take on more.
This exercise perfect lays out a direction for a constructive conversation with your boss about what your needs are. This will most likely make your days a whole lot more doable.
Being immediately disappointed with your job position or company within the first few weeks and hoping on the complain train.
When we get our first job, it is the biggest OMG moment of excitement and scared and a sure sign of adulting. But sometimes we begin our first week or so and realize the joke was on us because we were eager and excited to start making copies and organizing files...8 hours per day...5 days per week.
The boring factor can set in really quick when you feel like you don’t really do much and are not contributing in any way which is exactly why you will reach for the phone and call your family to complain your heart away about hating the company and false promises. I know it did! I hated my first job, and my second job, and to be honest no job is perfect!
Even just understanding that your first job will not be super exciting 9/10 times is a huge advantage. You are building experience to position yourself towards your dream job.
To keep the complain train away from your life you need to cultivate a community and sense of service outside of your job. Go take a yoga teacher training, join a recycling organization, join a dog walking group, volunteer at an animal shelter or join an intramural sports team!
Now I would like to hear from you! What are your biggest concerns with starting your new job? Do you feel prepared? Let me know in the comments below!
Loads of Love,