5 Things NOT To Do In Your First Job

#1: Hang out with your boss socially

Not seeing your boss socially outside of work can be a hard policy to adhere to, especially if your boss is only a few years older than you. Be friendly with your manager, but don’t try to become BFFs. This is a person you need to learn from, who you will receive feedback and coaching from, and who will be deciding how much you get paid. Getting too socially cozy with this person can complicate your life. And maintaining a measure of privacy about your personal life (yes, including on social media) helps to ensure that your boss’s view of your personal life is not tainting their perspective of your professional capability.

 

#2: Post while under the influence

Although it may have been fun to do in college, recording every nutty moment you experience when you may or may not be operating at your finest can be a career killer. You’ve managed to get hired, so it’s time now, more than ever, to be judicious about what you post publicly. If you desire advancement, be mindful of your personal brand. Everything you say and do in person counts, as does what you record on your social media platforms.

 

#3: Gossip about your colleagues

You’ve been told this for years: don’t say anything about someone you wouldn’t be willing to say to them themselves. There’s a reason this is good advice. Office politics and competitive colleagues are a fact of life. That doesn’t mean you have to be part of feeding the gossip mill. Tell only your own stories. Let others tell theirs. You don’t want people saying mean things about you behind your back, so make it a practice to never do it about someone else. Feel free to vent to family and friends outside work, but keep it there. On the job, remain neutral and positive.

 

#4: Do just the minimum

It can be tempting to watch the clock, race out of the office at five, or slide in late on occasion (your personal life is so dang fun, right?). These are bad habits to establish. The best way to advance is to over-deliver from day one. That means doing with excellence every task you are assigned, even if you don’t like it. Demonstrating that you have high standards, care about what you do no matter how menial it is, and are committed to the job will give you the chance to do more cool stuff. First jobs are awesome for exposing you to a whole host of interesting and unusual opportunities. Over-deliver on your “day” job -- on what you were hired to do -- and more exciting things will come your way.

 

#5: Whine, complain or blame

Certain negative behaviors may have worked with Mom and Dad in getting you what you wanted, but they won’t in your job. Whiners, complainers and blamers are complete downers. Decide that you are going to be positive and constructive, and if you do have a legitimate gripe, think carefully before sharing it. Make sure you position it positively and that you always offer a suggestion when criticizing something. That practice alone will save you from voicing problems without contributing to solutions -- anybody can do that. Successful professionals bring solutions.