10 pieces of advice for starting your first office job

Are you a graduate starting your first office job? Or maybe you’re just having a career-change that makes you a newbie to desk-based life? Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of tips to make your transition to working life a little easier.

1 – Dress to impress, at least to start with.

It may seem obvious, but make sure you make an effort on your first day.  If you’ve not been given a dress code, assume it’s smart attire and if you’re wrong, you’ll just look like you mean business. If you’ve been told it’s smart casual, err on the smarter-side of casual; you can always adjust your look for the rest of your time there based on how your colleagues dress. It’s always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed when it comes to a new job.

2 – Don’t be a taker.

If your office has communal food, feel free to have some if you feel comfortable; but don’t take more than your fair share. You don’t want to be the new person that eats all the biscuits, or nabs all your co-workers cereal.

3 – Don’t be too much of a giver, either.

This one might seem counter-intuitive, as most people are eager to please when they start a new job. Obviously put your best foot forward, but don’t ask for loads of extra work in your first week. While your boss may be impressed with your enthusiasm for your new role, they might over-estimate your capabilities and you’ll be drowning in work for the rest of your days.

4 – If you’re into fitness, make sure you’re still working out.

It can be easy to stop exercising when you get a new job and your days tire you out. A week or two off is to be expected, however if you bail on hitting the gym for too long, you may find your days of sitting down and helping yourself to the office snacks lead to some serious weight gain.

5 – Keep some spare clothes in your desk drawer.

Whether you’re a guy or a girl, you’re likely to be glad you did this one. No-one wants to ladder their tights or get wet socks from a puddle, then have to deal with the consequences for the rest of the day. It always worth having a jacket and an umbrella at work too, for those always-unexpected changes in British weather. It’s always wise to be prepared.

6 – Be nice to those who are ‘beneath’ you in the employment hierarchy.

Hopefully this one will be a given, if you’re a nice human. However, it’s worth noting that as well as being the decent and normal thing to do, being lovely to your support-role co-workers will also pay in the long run, because they’re more likely to want to help you out when you need an extra job doing.

7 – Don’t say anything about a co-worker that you wouldn’t say to their face.

It will always get back to them. Whether you’re being unflattering or super-flirtatious, don’t say anything you couldn’t deal with them finding out about. If you don’t want Jeremy from Accounts to know you fancy the pants off him, don’t tell your colleagues. If you do, go ahead.

8 – Don’t mix work and play too much.

If your boss likes to take everyone on a night out once in a while, then of course join in if that’s your sort of thing. However as with above, try to avoid doing anything you’ll regret. As the age-old saying goes, mixing business and pleasure could make your working life really awkward.

9 – Bring lunch to work.

If you’re watching the pennies, or your waistline, this is a good idea. You’ll save money, time, and it’ll save you from buying lunch out or snacking loads when you get hungry throughout the day.

10 – Lastly, make an effort with your colleagues.

You’re going to be spending a lot of time with them, and it’s likely you’ll need their help at various point. Make sure you’re as friendly as possible to start with, as it’s hard to undo a bad first impression.

So that concludes our list of tips for starting a new office job. Good luck!

 

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