5 Major Lessons You Learn From Your First Job

By Kailey Walters on January 13, 2018

Before we graduate from college and head off into the big wide world of the unknown, many of us tend to find temporary or part-time jobs while we’re still students. We end up working a variety of jobs and internships, whether in retail, fast food, an office building, or anything else in between — but no matter the job, there are always valuable lessons to be learned.

Especially when it’s your very first one, you learn things that set the foundation for your experiences in many other jobs to come — particularly your very first real, full-time job.

With that being said, here are a few important lessons you learn from your first job:

via Pexels.com

1. It’s okay to make mistakes.

It’s your first day on the job, your manager has just finished explaining something a little too quickly, and you’re a ball of nervous energy. You aren’t 100 percent sure how the rest of the day will play out, and you just have a feeling that you’re going to mess up at some point.

Take a deep breath and try to relax. Seeing as you’re the new kid on the block, you’re most likely not expected to pick up on everything right away. From time to time, you may even be expected to get confused or do something wrong. But it’s okay — you are only human.

If you have questions about something, it’s usually better to ask for clarification rather than fumble your way through. By keeping in mind that you’re allowed to make mistakes occasionally, you’ll realize from your first job that you are not expected to be perfect … and that will take a huge load off your shoulders.

2. Your attitude says a lot about you.

Even if you’re not necessarily the most productive or most efficient at your job, you could still be known for having the best attitude in your workplace.

Your approach to certain tasks allows others to recognize you for your positive attitude and your willingness to do well. If you show that you are eager, ready and willing to learn, and optimistic, that speaks volumes about what kind of person you are, which definitely goes off well with your boss and colleagues.

What’s even more significant is that this lesson follows you outside of your job to other aspects of your life as well. No matter how “good” or “bad” you are at anything, the way you handle it says the most about your personality.

Free stock photo of desk, notebook, pen, working

via Pexels.com

3. Take notes.

Whatever your own method of note-taking may be, it’s always important to jot down the important things.

For example, if your first job is in a corporate office where you need to attend many tedious meetings, carrying around a notebook and pen is definitely a good idea. You probably won’t need to write down everything that’s being said, but having something to jot down notes can be extremely useful, especially when there’s a lot of material being discussed and you’ll need to remember it for later.

4. Paying attention to detail is important.

No matter where you work, there will always be minutiae of the job that someone needs to pay attention to. Being detail-oriented in everything you do also reveals a lot about who you are, both as an employee and as an individual. If you are that person who pays attention to the little things and does everything meticulously, your actions will pay off in the future — maybe not necessarily in your first job, but perhaps in other jobs that follow.

5. Hard work is supposed to be hard.

“Hard work” means different things for different jobs, but when push comes to shove, you have no choice but to just do it. After all, your first job is most likely not going to be all butterflies and rainbows — you may cry, you may feel frustrated and bewildered, you may even hate everything about it. But having the endurance to push through will leave you with a sense of accomplishment, knowing that you somehow did it despite the challenges you faced.

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