All You Need to Know Before Getting Your First Job

Once you finish high school or university, you will probably be looking for your first real job and will be nervous as anything as you take the first steps into the big wide world.

At school, you are used to having everything done for you, whereas now you are on your own and are expected to behave like an adult. The real world is not like college life where you can pretty much do as you please, you will be judged on everything you do, so making a good impression is paramount.

Here we are going to look at everything you need to know before getting your first job.

You Must Work Hard

There are no days off in the real world, and the sooner you learn this, the better. You will be expected to turn up for work every day ready to give 100%, and this is never more important than in your first few weeks.

First impressions make a huge difference. Your employer will not expect you to get everything right, after all, everybody makes mistakes, and you are only learning. However, they will expect effort, grit, and determination, and your early attitude could well decide how far you are going to go with your career. 


At school and college, you will mainly have worked alone and will rarely have undertaken group projects outside of the sports field.

This will all change once you start your first real job as you will be expected to work as part of a team. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get on with someone, you still have to work with them so get used to the idea of collaboration and being thrown out of your comfort zone, because it is going to happen an awful lot. 

Know Your Rights 

Before you enter the workplace, it is useful to know what is expected of you under the eyes of the law and also what your rights are as an employee.

Talking to experts from this employment law firm can help you start out on the front foot, so you don’t make any mistakes, and they can also make you aware of the obligations that your employer has to you. If they do renege on their contractual duties, then you will be in a perfect position to seek recourse.

Follow the Rules

Often when we are young, we have the attitude that rules are there to be broken. However, you need to get this mindset out of your head as soon as possible. You must comply with the rules in your workplace. If you are asked to wear a shirt and tie, you must do so. If you start breaking the rules you will stand out like a sore thumb and will be quickly moved on.

Keeping to rules and regulations shows that you are disciplined, and this is something that your employer will be looking out for, especially in the early days. 

Don’t Expect to Stay in Your First Job Forever

For our parent’s generation, it was normal to expect to hold down a job for your whole career, however, that is a thing of the past nowadays.

Sure, you don’t want to be leaving your first job after a matter of weeks or months, but you should still be treating it as a learning curve, and you should be looking to move on as soon as you find that you are not increasing your knowledge or that you have outgrown your position.  


Networking is key, whether you are in your first job or you have 30 years’ experience in the workplace. The more people you get to know, the better stead it will stand you in for the future. Use every opportunity to talk to different people and pick their brains.

Instead of wasting your lunch hour on social media, why not try and talk to more experienced colleagues in different departments so that you broaden your knowledge? Never stop asking questions and making acquaintances, as you never know when they might be useful in the future.

As we have discovered, there is a lot to learn before you start your first job. You need to understand that it will be no picnic, and you will be expected to work extremely hard as part of a team. Ask questions of those more experienced than you and show the willingness to go above and beyond your duties. Understand what your legal rights are before you start employment and stick to the rules.

Finally, make sure you network as much as possible, and if you follow this guide, you will start your working life as you mean to go on.