My Future

Office Dos And Don’ts You Need To Know For Your First Adult Job

* pretends to know what their doing *

Having an adult job is as confusing as it is depressing as it is surprisingly fun. It’s not as bad as people make it out to be, but it sure does take some adjustment from the breezy life of a student.

There are some unwritten rules about office life you need to be on top of before your very first day. Here are just a few.

Do: Use what you learned in your last job

Don’t: Be too rigid to accept new ways of thinking

While you were at uni, you probably had a part-time or casual job that kept the dollars rolling in. This is great because it means you have an understanding of basic processes and office politics. However, if your new job has completely different systems, or likes to use Arial instead of Times New Roman, just go with the flow. It’s important to be flexible when you’re just starting out.

Do: Show you’re super eager to expand your skill-set

Don’t: Be too impatient about climbing the ranks

Even bonafide geniuses have to do the hard yards before they make it to the big time. Consider these the years of cutting your teeth and showing that you can kick it with the regulars before your starring turn as CEO.

Do: Be a team player

Don’t: Get distracted from your role

As a newbie, you’ll probably be asked to try your hand at different tasks and work in varying departments to get a taste of the company. This is a great opportunity and you should definitely snap it up. However, if you’ve become so concerned with trying out different areas that your own job is taking the back burner, take a step back.

It’s important to learn new things but doing your job well is more important.

Do: Make an effort to be friends with your coworkers

Don’t: Engage in the office gossip

When Jesus wrote the Bible (??), he told us a ‘lil story about Adam and Eve and the snake and the apple. Consider office gossip the temptation apple that you must resist at all costs.

While it’s extremely fun to hear who sucks, who’s getting underpaid and who made out with the intern in the supply closet, it’ll come back to bite you if you ~know too much~. Workplaces can be filled with toxic people, so it’s best to stay away from them at all costs. Keep it profesh.

Do: Get yourself a work bestie

Don’t: Chat with them on Slack or G-chat all day

Having a work bestie makes your work days feel so much easier to get through. You can have lunch with them, discuss your weekend with them, exchange glances during work meetings with them: all OK. But spending the whole day on messenger chatting to them instead of doing your actual work is a huge no-no.

You probably think that goes without saying, but once you get into the monotony of every day work life, chatting for hours becomes more and more appealing. Not to mention the fact that it’s a work tool, so your employers have every right to read it if they want to! Keep the chat to coffee breaks to save your back later on.

Do: Stick with the dress code

Don’t: Abuse it

Your workplace might be smart casual but it doesn’t mean you can rock up in thongs and trackies. People get away with a lot in a casual environment but it’s best not to abuse it too much. Besides, dressing for success makes you feel like a boss, which in turn makes you feel like you can smash your job.

Do: Be proactive about asking for a raise when you deserve it

Don’t: Care too much about money just yet

Having a decent (not to mention legal) amount of money to live is definitely important – girls gotta eat, sleep and buy a few nice things for herself every once in a while. But if you become too money focused at the start of your career, you may lose sight of your longer term goals.

The money will come eventually, just be patient.

(Lead image: Workaholics/Comedy Central)

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