OK, it’s here, your long years putting up with the stupid restrictions of school and college are over and you’re about to join the millions of well-paid, successful and independent people out there. Yes, you’re joining the workforce!

Well, it’s worth pointing out that you’re in for an “adjustment period”.  Okay?  Nothing to be alarmed about, but your life is about to change. Don’t panic. At least you have a job.

The web is full of generic tips about how to prepare for your first job but many tend to theorize or just list things that are a bit “too obvious”.

So here’s an article that puts it together in a slightly different way by giving you a few things to work on, that will give you an understanding of how to make your Big Move a success.

First Impressions Count!

This isn’t a trait in itself, but it requires one of the most important of all, and that’s personal presentation.

It’s an old cliché but you’re young, so maybe you haven’t heard it.  Anyway, it’s that “You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression”.  Stop and think.  Read it again, even if you know it.  If you mess up the first time you meet your new boss, or your new team, or … anyone … that impression will be hard to shift.  As will a good one, by the way.

You don’t need to become an instant star, but be smart, pleasant, and genuine. If you’re a bit nervous, say so. If you’re incredibly nervous, say you’re a bit nervous (don’t overplay it).

And don’t forget this applies to meeting anyone for the first time, at any time, not just on your first day.  Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

Be Professional

When you were at school or college, it may have been cool to be a rebel, to cut class or avoid homework. Well, that’s just not an option anymore.  You’re being paid to do a job, and behaving yourself is just about the most basic requirement you can expect.

With that out of the way, think of how you conduct yourself.  This starts with being professional – showing up on time, being respectful, and working hard.  In other words, take it seriously!

And if you have any personality disorders, don’t expect to act them out at work.  If you’re prone to angry outbursts, you need to curb them: your boss can probably get angrier than you – and get rid of you too, which is more to the point.  If this is a problem, you could take an anger management course – the one we’ve mentioned is online and easy to take.

Ask For Help

No one expects you to know it all.  Or anything much, actually.  So lose any idea that you need to “fake it till you make it”: you’ll be found out and written off as a lightweight.  Much better to admit your limitations, and ask for help or guidance when you need to.

Don’t overdo it, of course, or you might come across as a bit needy, but a gentle request now and again will likely go down well.

And ask for it in a respectful way: if you feel uncertain, that’s OK.  Just don’t get tearful though.

Be Patient … and Realistic

The world may seem tough at first, but it’s only a matter of adjusting.

You’ll be bottom of the pile for a while (at least…) but treat that as a good thing: you have the rest of your working life ahead of you, and now is a chance to learn.

You’ll learn about people, how some are different at work from how they are outside … and some aren’t.  How some co-workers can become friends, and some never will.  You may hate your job, but realize in time that it’s not so bad, and it may be a stepping stone to good things.  Great things even.  And you’ll get better at your job.

So How Should You Feel?

Right now, you’re probably nervous, and uncertain. Stressed actually.

Well, here’s the thing: so is everybody in your position!  Although you may balk at the prospect of joining a company where people have the experience of work – and life – that you lack, these people are often helpful and sympathetic to your position.

So follow these simple tips and you’ll find that work isn’t scary at all … and it can actually turn into a good, enjoyable, and rewarding place to be.