Facing the Challenge of Your First Job

It’s your first day at the office, and you’re nervous. You’re not too sure of the office protocol, you don’t really know where your desk is yet, and you almost feel like it’s the first day of school. But there are the same day to day challenges and other stressful situations of a job that you are expected to handle. So below are some suggestions to help you deal with the challenges of your first job:

When you have to interrupt someone: This can be a little overwhelming when first starting out. You need to ask a question or take a report to your superior, but they’re talking with another person. You may ask yourself if it can wait until your manager is finished talking. But what if it can’t? What if it’s the biggest customer on the phone. Then you knock on the door and say, “Excuse me?” and immediately get to the point. Ask if anything further needs to be done on your end. This shows that you can communicate and be polite.

Asking too many questions: You can never ask too many of the right questions if it’s about the job and you’re doing it correctly. If you don’t ask, you won’t learn. What you can do is write down the answers to your questions though so that you have them as references. Then you can refer to your notes to keep you organized and on top of things.

The person you need the information is absent: You have an important report due, and the person that was supposed to give you the required information scheduled for that day is out sick, now what? The first thing to do is to find the person’s second-in-command. If there isn’t anyone, then ask someone who works closely with them. If possible, send an email or try their phone of the absent person. However, if they aren’t available and you can’t get the needed information, then you’ll have to tell the person who’s supposed to receive the report that they’ll have to wait. Apologize for the delay and be as transparent as you can. You could send them what’s been completed if it will help them on their end. This shows that there’s work in progress and that you’re not making up excuses.

If you have to take the day off unexpectedly: Sometimes things happen. Your child is sick; your car won’t start, you’re sick so that you have to call off work. What you do first is you contact your Human Resources Manager by email and let them know what happened. Use the phone too because hearing from you is often important because it makes it more genuine. Also, include any team members expecting you and send one to your boss. If possible, have work sent to you at home if you don’t have computer access to work from your home computer. If you’re too sick to work though, let the office know so that they’re not expecting work from you.

You have a difficult co-worker: You won’t always have the perfect co-workers. So, sometimes you will have that one person that you have a problem working with. The best thing to do is to say nothing which can get you into trouble and keep calm when dealing with them. Keep yourself in check if comments are made and think about what you’re saying when you open your mouth. You don’t want something to be misconstrued. If it becomes an intolerable situation, it’s better to go to Human Resources and let them handle the matter.

You have to give your first presentation: It’s time for your first presentation in front of your boss and other team members. Even if you’re shy, public speaking is a skill which can be learned. If you present yourself with confidence, that’s half the battle. The other half is being well prepared in planning your presentation. Understand that your co-workers aren’t there to criticize you; they’re there to use the information which you are presenting. You are helping them further the project which is being worked on by your team.

Working at your first job can be a little overwhelming, but if you use common sense, you’ll do fine.