How to Behave on Your First Job

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Figuring out how to behave on your first job is something most people have to figure out in high school or soon after, whereas rare few others may take decades longer to bravely enter the workforce. No matter what timing or other circumstances are involved, though, a few tried-and-true techniques will always apply as best practice for those finding themselves in their initial position.


Sometimes, new employees may not realize how truly rich a corporate culture can be; that is, the inner-sanctum secrets that dictate unspoken protocol, the behaviors that are encouraged or unacceptable, and all of those little rules that are not typically discovered until it is too late. These violations can be avoided, and many other lessons learned, if a new worker elects to listen well. Knowing how to behave on your first job means learning from those around you rather than thinking you are already going to be the one doing the teaching. Not only is this behavioral format wise outside the office as well, but it will prove to be an effective method for gaining the respect of your peers, too.


While every office has certain de facto rules that can seem like cryptic secrets, there are other standards of professionalism that are nearly universal and should be automatically observed no matter what industry you find yourself in. Part of mastering how to behave on your first job is acknowledging the finer points of professional politeness. These would include not using work materials for personal use, not gossiping about co-workers, not chatting too much on the clock, being absolutely courteous and helpful for guests and customers, and forming the appropriate relationship with your supervisor. Coming into a new position thinking you are somehow exceptional and failing to adhere to even basic behavioral etiquette is a very efficient way to find yourself disliked by your colleagues.


Of all the tips that could be given concerning how to behave on your first job, working hard and working well may still remain the most important. It may sound overly simplistic, but it is true: The best thing you can do at your first job is to perform to expectations and even exceed them. No matter your age, skill level, how recommended you came, or other factors, if you do not work hard and get your tasks completed before deadlines, you will not be successful.

That, after all, is the basic idea behind how to behave on your first job: Behave like a good worker. Behave like you would want your subordinates to behave if you were their supervisor. Behave like your job is a priority for you. Before you even make that first commute, acknowledge the importance of knowing how to behave at your first job as being something you should know before you ever arrive.


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