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Excel At Your First Job

The workplace can be a scary place to navigate, especially for a fresh grad. After all, every fresh-faced employee wants to do well and learn as much as they can at their first job.

Here are some useful pointers to help you make a good impression at the workplace!

Get to Know Your Boss

A strong relationship with your boss usually stems from effective communication and mutual respect and understanding. While some bosses clearly pen down their expectations of you, there are others who are not so forthcoming.

Try to observe facial expressions and body language to get a general idea of what your boss is feeling. Pursed lips, a tight jaw and furrowed eyebrows can mean dissatisfaction while a genuine smile with eyes lit up is symbolic of approval.

Also, many bosses might not be so direct when pointing out areas of improvement to avoid hurting your feelings. For instance, when your boss points out that you are not focused at work, it could be because he caught you surfing Facebook during office hours.

A simple question like “How’s your progress with that project?” might mean that he is worried about you not meeting the deadline. The proper response would be to explain why you are stuck on a particular task and assure your boss that your work will be submitted on time.

Since you are there to learn the ropes, do not hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification from your superiors and colleagues. Bosses would prefer staff to clarify their doubts when they are working on a task than have to fix a finished product that isn’t right. Damage control can be messy, so raising necessary questions can lessen the risk of you slipping up at work.

Polish Your Work Habits

Your usual routines, no matter how small, are much more noticeable than you might think. From the way you dress to the participation you show during meetings, bosses take note of all these little things as they reflect your work attitude.

The number one rule is to always be punctual or arrive early to work and meetings. Be sure to do your homework on meeting agendas so that you will not dive in unprepared or appear baffled. Don’t be afraid to provide relevant input and participate in discussions whenever you have something to contribute.

Missing deadlines is another big no-no. Prioritising urgent tasks and planning a daily work schedule can help you manage your time better. If you cannot meet a deadline due to unforeseen circumstances, inform your superiors immediately no matter how tempting it may be to keep mum. Bosses are usually busy with various other matters and surprising them with bad news at the eleventh hour might cause some tense situations.

Exude Positivity

One thing that most bosses seek from employees is a positive attitude. Unwillingness to take on tasks and challenges only shows a lack of capability, drive or interest. Showing consistent enthusiasm means that you are committed to your work and most eager to learn. Exhibiting enthusiasm also makes communication between colleagues much easier and more effective.

Initiative is another trait that most bosses appreciate, so be helpful and proactive around the office. Consider your first job as a stepping stone to success, so learn as much as you can and perform to the best of your abilities!

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