Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me for My First Job

Too many people enter showbiz and immediately feel “entitled.” So entitled that they resent their duties and their bosses. (Yeppers, we’re speaking from experience here, both as the entitled jobholder and as a boss.) This article has a few words for you. (But you probably won’t even recognize who you are.)


by Thorin Klosowski

Whether you’re straight out of college or starting a new career path, that first job can be scary. You might think you know the ropes, but it’s a lot more than just getting your work done. Here are a few tips I wish someone gave me before I took my first job.

Everyone’s workplace is a little different, but when it boils down to it, we all face the same set of challenges at a new job. You’ll probably need to start at the bottom of the totem pole even if you’re an experienced worker, and integrating yourself into the company culture is a lot harder than you think. Keeping your expectations in check is a good place to start.

Accept Your Newbie Status and the Work that Comes with It

When you’re just out of college, it’s easy to get a big head about what you can do in the workplace. Unfortunately, chances are you’ll need to clean the proverbial toilet for a while before you’re given any real responsibility. This means you need to show off your work ethic even if you’re stuck doing tasks you don’t like.

It might sound like simply “paying your dues,” but it’s easy to get a little full of yourself when you first start a job. In a recent episode of Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project, the podcast crew detail why work ethic is insanely important when you’re faced with work you don’t want to do:

When you do [the boring work] and you do it well, about 10% of the time you get to do the fun stuff. You get to dress something and make it look cooler, or you get to solve a problem. If you do that well, you get to do a little more of it. Then a little more… You have to dedicate yourself to the drudgery, and doing the legwork that’s not fun or glamorous… No one comes out of college or trade school knowing what they need to succeed down the line.

Their advice? Revel in working hard no matter what the job is. You might be smart and clever, but a solid work ethic is the main thing that’ll separate you from all the other viable candidates. You may start with a bunch of grunt work, but you can’t be an oversensetive employee. If you’re not learning anything, it’s time to look at yourself and figure out what actually sucks: the job or you.

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