Young people across the country are about to start or have recently started a summer seasonal job, and for many, this will be the first job they ever had. Starting your first job is such an important step into adulthood, and a very crucial time in your career. If you can be successful at your first summer job, you will thank yourself later on down the road. This is the time you will start to learn skills you will be able to use in every job you have going forward and establish relationships that can lead to other jobs and valuable references. Here are some tips on how to succeed at your first job.
1) Maintain a professional attitude at all times
Take every interaction seriously, whether it’s with a customer, co-worker, boss, vendor or anyone else you come into contact with on the job. Not only can any of these people be of possible value to you in the future of your career, but you also don’t want to risk getting a bad reputation for lacking social composure. And nonverbal communication is just as important to success in your first job as verbal communication. This means carrying yourself with confidence, having good posture and making eye contact with everyone you communicate with.
2) Dress for success
No matter what kind of summer seasonal job you have, you want to be taken seriously. This doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a three-piece suit, but pay close attention to how those you work with dress, and aim to dress just as professionally, or preferably take it up a notch so you can really shine in your first job. Appear polished and clean, not disheveled. Not only are your superiors and co-workers likely to judge your professionalism based on your appearance (like it or not), but you are likely to perform your first job more successfully with the confidence that comes with having a professional appearance.
3) Show up early, and leave late
Getting into the habit of being on time is one of the most important skills you will learn in your first job. To ensure you make a strong first impression and set yourself up for success, aim to show up early for your summer seasonal job. If you get in the habit of being early, showing up on time will become a cinch later in your career. And don’t be rushing out the door once it’s time for you to leave; if there is something important you are working on that really needs to be completed, or your boss is having a crisis, offer to stick around a little later than usual. Showing this extra effort in your first job will pay off big time down the line.
4) Be honest about mistakes
It should seem common sense to most that lying on the job would be a huge mistake, but also don’t be tempted to cover up errors or make excuses for any mistakes you make. Simply own your mistakes, learn from them, and reassure your boss that you will pay closer attention moving forward. Your boss will likely respect your honesty, and you will be off to a great start in your career.
5) Be resourceful
You won’t immediately know how to do every task you are given in your first job, but this is your opportunity to start learning how to figure things out. To be a success in your career, never say the word “can’t”; always have a “can-do” attitude. If you are unsure of how to perform a certain task, utilize the Internet, co-workers, friends, or simply ask your boss to give you a demonstration or further explanation.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.