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Here’s How to Be Smarter at Your First Job

Irrespective of your job or industry, there isn’t ever enough time to complete everything, especially when it is your first job. With the number of applicants increasing day by day, professionals are expected to pick up things swiftly to get a head start. At times, it takes weeks or months to get the hang of things. In these scenarios the chances of being a mix of excitement and anxiety are likely to be high – sometimes leading to a mismatch in your own expectations. Calm your nerves, for there are effective ways to be smarter in your first job. Here you go: 


1. Dress to make an impression

Your first few days at work can make you feel like you are under a microscope. It is likely that you will be observed, which is quite natural. Your employers will want to see how you cope with a new environment, and the way you present yourself. Therefore, apart from putting your best work forward, pay attention to the way you dress as well. Dressing professionally is the easiest way to prove to your boss that you understand how things work in office. Following the dress code and other rules will pay off in the long run. 

Since we’re on the topic, read up on more workplace etiquettes here: 5 Things that Make You Look Unprofessional at Your First Job

2. Ask questions

There is no such thing as a silly question, and be assured, you will have many during the first few days of your job. Being self-sufficient is a plus but do not be afraid to ask questions if you have any doubts or do not understand something. Leaders would never scoff off or look down upon someone who is willing to learn. Being inquisitive will in turn help you learn everything you need, to do your job well. 


3. Don’t over apologise

It is human to make mistakes. Everyone does. The key here is to apologise, own it, and offer a solution. Over apologising and dwelling on the slip-up is perceived negatively. Just move forward and be sure to avoid that mistake in the future.


4. It is okay to say ‘no’ to your boss

With your first job, you are expected to ‘go that extra mile’ to make a good impression on your immediate seniors and colleagues. While doing that may be considered a norm, sometimes, saying ‘no’ is okay too. There will be times when you won’t be able to handle every task your boss gives you. When faced with such a situation, go ahead and be transparent. Let them know exactly why you can’t complete a task. It is absolutely all right to say no. 


5. Write down everything

You will eventually find a better way to make a daily to-do list. But it is always advisable to have a notebook and pen handy to make a note of everything. This way you can organise and prioritise your tasks in a much better way. 


6. Communicate with your coworkers

Often, there will be times when you won’t be able to ask your boss for help when you need it. Coworkers and other managers make for great alternative resources when you’re feeling overwhelmed or confused. Talking to your colleagues will offer you varying perspectives, advice and encouragement.


7. Taking short breaks is fine

You don’t have to be in front of your desk throughout the day to show that you are really working hard. It is okay and considered healthy to take short breaks during work hours. A quick walk around the block or a lunch away from your desk is likely to rest your mind and make you more productive.

Try out these simple tips and see how they help you in becoming smarter every day at your first job.


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