First Job? Here Are The Ten Things You Need To Know

Last updated 29 May 2018 . 1 min read

fresher in corporate world fresher in corporate world

Starting a new job is like playing a new-gen video game, with just one difference - that you are one of the characters living in that zone. Everything looks nice, neat, colourful and glamorous except that hurdles and obstacles keep coming your way unexpectedly and you only learn to deal with them as you go ahead.

Most graduates (and we are not just talking about graduates literally here) are now well appraised of the fact that workspaces are not as friendly as they are made out to be. Most job seekers already know that jobs are not just about knowledge gained through books. Most are braced with soft skills that could help them at work, increase their knowledge about companies' businesses and the likes.

However there are ten things that every fresher should know before stepping into the job world -

10. Its not college anymore -
Those times of torn jeans, baggy tops are gone, Don a proper pair of jeans or trousers with a decent top. You may think its old world to go to office like that but read this -

"We had an intern who turned up wearing harem pants and big hoops to work one day. Most office guys were drooling over her. Soon she was noticed by the head of the department - who was otherwise a super busy person, mostly confined to his cabin. He called her and gave her a little briefing about her project and also hinted to her about dressing right for work. She came dressed appropriately from the next days but her internship was not confirmed later," says Rahul, a marketing executive with an online restaurant booking service company.  

(Also Read - 11 Best Interview Tips to get a job)

9. Politeness is not dead -
In a new office, you will first deal with the blue collar staff there - the photocopy person, the cab booking person, the canteen boy et al. You don’t have to bow down to them but be polite. A small "thank you" at the end of the task will only create a good impression on those people and others around. “Your seniors take a note of your behaviour, not just in your team but otherwise too. It gives an impression of your personality,” says Rahul.

8. It's not wise to comment immediately -
Freshers are frequently asked for their opinions because it is assumed that they have a better pulse of the current market trends and mindset. Don’t be shocked if you are called in and asked for your opinion on the company’s new TV commercial, jingle, ad copy, logo, T-shirt design etc. Don’t just fire from your mouth right away, think through and craftily put forward your opinion backed by a solid reason. Simple ‘yes’ followed by long praises or ‘no’ with deep damnation for the concept will make you look dumb. If confused, tell people that you want some time to think about it but do come up with a definitive opinion  later.

7. Suggest new things -
Everyone loves fresh ideas and companies subtly expect you to come up with new suggestions in the existing processes. But be warned that these have to be in the suggestive tone and not sound like a contradiction of the processes. At times people only ask for suggestions just to judge your understanding on the place and processes. In my last job with an electronics major, very often we were asked to suggest additions in new brand positioning measures. The ideal way was to think through a solid point and put it in a suggestive way and also indicate subtly that the measures working now were only being enhanced and not viewed otherwise.

6. Don’t be overfriendly –
Like in Bollywood, in office too there are no permanent enemies or friends. People come to office to work, and while they spend 8-10 hours of their time in office they do tend to be friendly with others around. While you would like to discuss life outside office with them, please be advised that intimate details should be totally avoided. Thing like troubles with in-laws, boyfriends, happening night-outs are totally no-no unless you become over friendly with someone at work, and that can only happen in a course of a year.

5. Don’t snoop on your boss-
A fresher is tempted to impress his boss. Many newbies tend to find out what their boss likes in terms of food, clothing, what his life is like, what are his hobbies and other such details. A senior at work may classify this as ‘intrusion’ and just avoid you altogether. Draw a line when being casual with your boss. 

(Also Read - How To Negotiate Flexible Work Hours With Your Employers)

4. Don’t depend too much on your boss -
Another pertinent problem with trainees or interns is that they see their boss as a guardian angel. The rude truth is that he is judging you while you are at your tasks, asking him your doubts. “A boss understands that a new person on board has his doubts, but he is looking for intelligent doubts not the dumb ones. Also turning up to the boss every now and then for silly permissions and approvals show your dependence on him and he may brand you as ‘too novice’,” says Ramya Anand who is a member of a HR team at a renowned publication.   

The apt solution for this situation is that the new employe should plan a course of action and keep the boss in loop. “This way is much better than asking him for every other step and awaiting his approvals for the same,” adds Ramya.

3. Don’t gossip –
Office is the ultimate ground for silly hear say and its propagation. Tea breaks and coffee time out is often the time when people spill the beans. You may also get to be a part of such sessions at times, but just keep your ears open and mouth shut. What you hear from one person should not be discussed with the other.

Since you will be a new employee,  a lot of people will keep a watch on your mannerisms and the ability to gel with the team. Useless gossip can ruin that for you.

2. Be ready for surprises – 
You may have been a college topper but the situation  ground is completely different. It is advised to be ready with all concept but also be prepared to learn new and totally different things at work.

1.  Be positive –

A person with a positive approach is liked. When colleagues discuss obstacles coming their way, offer to help. When colleagues talk about a new project getting hindered, try to add a positive approach to it.   

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Yojana Sharma
Yojana Sharma is a Delhi based new media journalist. She is also running a social enterprise while raising a toddler.

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