Welcome to the work force! There might not be a huge banner or bucket of confetti waiting for you at the door, but you're excited and feeling ready to take on the world. This is an epic moment in your life, and landing a position always deserves a pat on the back. *Extends arm through the screen.* Now, let's talk what you need to do beyond day one, because it can be easy to get lost in work responsibilities and put valuable things, like "me time" and your social life, on the back-burner. Take some necessary precautions, write down a few of these promises to make when you start your first job, and keep them close.
You almost can't believe that this day has come. Back in high school, you spent so much time daydreaming about your — well, dreams. Watching your aspirations to be a teacher (or just a straight-up #girlboss) unfold is incredible. You walk into your new office and try to soak in as much as possible on day one. Pace yourself, because there will be plenty of opportunities coming your way.
Seriously, take a deep breath, and then center your focus. When you're starting your first job and following your dreams, you want to keep these eight things in mind. Maybe post them on your mirror or read them before heading to the office every day. Pinky promise?
1. Get A Good Amount Of Sleep
Contrary to popular belief, sleep is not for the weak. And especially when you're starting your first job, you need to make going to bed at a reasonable hour a priority.
Promise yourself that you won't stay up past midnight during the week, or turn off your devices nice and early. More often than not, the reason why you're wide awake at 2 a.m. is because you're in the depths of YouTube. Those videos are going to be there tomorrow, so spend some quality time with your pillow instead.
2. Make Time For Yourself In The Morning
Learning how to balance work, life, and adulting is essential — and starts with making time for yourself throughout the day. Go to sleep at a reasonable hour, and then plan to wake up a little earlier. Setting those alarms for 6 a.m. rather than 6:30 a.m. can really make a difference, and gives you that much-needed time to aimlessly scroll through social media or enjoy your cup of coffee. Ready, set, go!
3. Don't Be Afraid To Ask Questions
Being the new kid on the block comes with a lot of nerves. You want to do a good job and not cause too much of a ruckus in your workplace. (Girl, same.) But, don't let those butterflies in your stomach keep you from asking the important questions.
Getting curious about your industry, work, or position in the office is the best way to learn the ins and outs. Shadow someone, raise your hand in a meeting, and listen as much as possible. Find a co-worker who may very well become your mentor or confidante, and use them as a resource, too. Being afraid to ask questions only holds you back in the long run.
4. Befriend A Coworker
Coworkers have a way of turning your first job into a bunch of friendships. On day one, you don't know each other and simply exchange a, "Hello!" You're more focused on getting your desk all organized, or learning the ropes around the office.
But then, you get more comfortable and start making conversation. Soon enough, you're grabbing coffee with the girl who sits next to you, and sending memes to your work friends on the weekends. Everything seems to fall into place in the blink of an eye.
Just promise yourself that you'll reach out to people and engage in these moments. Friendships, like careers, have to start somewhere, too.
5. Don't Focus On "What's Next"
Once you land your first job, it's easy to start thinking about "what's next." I mean, this is supposed to be a stepping stone to bigger and better things, right? You're not wrong, but please focus on the present.
You just started this new position, and there are no answers to where it will take you. Maybe you'll work for this company for a few months, and discover you want to pursue a different niché within the industry. That's normal, because you're being exposed to other opportunities and gaining experience.
Don't limit yourself by trying to figure out the next step of your future. Channel your energy and daydreaming into your job right now.
6. Stand Up For Your Ideas
Starting your first job is exciting because you're passionate, ambitious, and full of new ideas. That's likely why you were hired and what will help you succeed. But, you may be nervous to speak up with your ideas in the beginning. Promise yourself that that won't be the case, and that you'll take the leap at times.
Maybe you're working for a coffee shop and have some interesting design ideas for the chalkboard or Instagram-worthy drinks. You could be working from home, and pitching new projects to your boss that allow you to explore editing programs and software, while advancing the business. Worst comes to worst, your boss declines the pitch for now — and you showed that your interest and passion is there.
7. Use Your Weekends Wisely
Time management is everything when you're starting your first job. You have to balance your assignments and your life at home. Where do you even begin? Well, for now, let's focus on the weekends — the time you truly have to yourself.
Your schedule may be the traditional nine to five, or maybe you're working on the weekends or nights, and have your Wednesdays to live your best life. Whatever it may be, embrace that time off and use it wisely. Relax, pursue your other passions, or get outside. It will make all the difference when you return to the office, and you'll feel so refreshed.
8. Stay Ambitious And Passionate About What You Do
Truth be told, your first job may not be your dream job — and that's OK. There are so many lessons that can be learned, even in positions that don't directly relate to your career path.
The key is to stay ambitious and passionate about what you do every day. Find an aspect of your job that you truly enjoy, or something that could translate into your future goals and plans. Then, simply keep your eye on the prize. Say "yes" to new opportunities that come your way, and embrace every moment of your first job.