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Tips for your First ‘Serious’ Job

March 14, 2013

So you’ve got yourself a job. And I mean a job job. You’ve landed something that’s more than babysitting the neighbour’s kid or helping your dad out at his office every couple of months. You’ve been through an interview process, worn some type of suit, and you’ve done it. Congratulations! 

 

Beginning your first ‘serious’ job as a law student or grad means that you may have to adapt to the workplace environment. Here are some tips for making a smooth transition to office life…

 

Tip 1: You’re being paid (hopefully) to work in this role, so work. This means no complaining if you miss your 10am cup of coffee, or if lunch gets pushed back because of a deadline.

 

Tip 2: Be enthusiastic, but make sure it’s not too much – please don’t be that annoying person who says everything is fantastic all the time. And also don’t be that person who starts packing their bags 30 minutes before home time, or who stretches out their lunch breaks for as long as possible. It gets noticed.

 

Tip 3: Don’t forget that you’re the new kid. No one expects you to know everything straight away, so pay attention to any advice your colleagues offer and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

 

Tip 4: It’s important to get to know your colleagues. You’d be amazed at the skills and experience some of your co-workers have to share, and it’s always easier to go to work on a Monday morning when you have friends at work.

 

Tip 5: Try to pick up on the workplace vibe and use your common sense. If you work in a law firm and there’s a big matter on, you should be able to sense the stress of the office, even if you’re not directly involved.

 

This is not a great time to ask about whether you can leave early on Friday because you have a concert to go to. Wait for a better time and instead ask if there’s anything that you can do to help.

 

Tip 6: Facebook and mobile phones. Yes, we use them daily. No, you do not want to be seen using them all the time. Take your cues from others, and try to limit your use during working hours.

 

Tip 7: Dress appropriately.

 

Tip 8: And finally, if you take the last piece of cake from the lunchroom, make sure you’ve offered it to at least one other person before devouring it!

 

 

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