Taking your first foot into the working life after aceing your tell me about yourself interview is one daunting time, as you’re fresh and new to this real-world experience, and may not know what exactly to expect. While experience will definitely make you better aware of what to look out for as you venture one or two years into your first job, there are several mistakes that you should avoid at all costs, as they can potentially make your life a lot more difficult financially, as well as career-wise. Read on to find out what these four big mistakes are!
1. Becoming too dependent on the cash flow
No matter how modest your starting salary may be, the change from living a budget student life to receiving your full-time pay can be very overwhelming. This results in many fresh graduates making the big mistake of increasing their spending too fast by too much once they begin their career. This is a real problem because once you get used to the upgraded higher-spending lifestyle that you enjoy, you get trapped in this whirlwind of lifestyle inflation, which means that as soon as your income increases, you find yourself increasing your spending.
In all, you become caught up in a tiring race of trying to earn more to sustain your frequent lifestyle upgrades. It is thus very important that fresh graduates are made aware of this problem so that you can make the due effort to actively steer away from the dangers of lifestyle inflation and to work to prevent it. Getting overly dependent on your cash flow can seriously lead to disaster in unexpected times of having to lose your job, or in times that you may wish to quit. After all, retrenchment in the finance and banking industry is not uncommon, and it is usually the greener recruits with the least experience that are first to be cut.
A tip is to keep a close track of your spending before and after you start working, and take note of any areas that you may spend higher than expected on.
2. Not paying attention to relationships at the office
The average Singaporean student is accustomed to the culture of listening to your elders’ advice and simply to focus on studying hard for a good future. With that said, things are no doubt very different in the workplace. At the workplace, merely following the given instructions isn’t just going to cut it, because as good as you may be at following orders, you’ll come to realize that career progression is not going to come easy for you if you are unable to foster positive relationships with your colleagues and bosses in the first place.
We’re not saying that you should most definitely bootlick and suck up shamelessly to your boss, but we’re talking about the importance of relationship dynamics and forming good connections with others. If you wish to thrive in your company, it is advisable for you to avoid office gossip and toxicity, pay attention to the dynamics between those that you work with, and work towards building positive relationships with the people around you. This means to be more receptive to joining get-togethers with your team so that you don’t miss out on the valuable opportunities of getting to know your coworkers better.
A tip is to take a mental note of everyone that you work with and take the initiative to strike up conversations with all of them when possible.
3. Not asking for guidance when you need help
For those stepping into a working place for the first time, there will be many things that you may not know about. You will not only have to master the skills required for you to excel in your job role, but you will also have to deal with many other things, including the various systems in your organization down to the seemingly easy tasks of operating a printer. In times of need, you should not fear opening your mouth to ask for help. Remaining stubborn in refusing to ask for help will just lead to more frustration that you will face all by yourself, and can hinder your work productivity and progress. Making too many unnecessary mistakes will also reflect badly on yourself!
Learn how to ask for guidance in a tactful manner, and with time, you’ll realize that asking for help isn’t as daunting as it seemed previously. Of course, do not expect someone to just drop everything at hand to help you, so be sure to find the right time and situation to ask. If necessary, you could offer to treat them to lunch so that you can discuss the matter outside of the working hours.
4. Getting complacent in your career
Many fresh graduates may think that getting their first job is the biggest hurdle they can face after graduation and can tend to become complacent after clinching their desired job role with a decent pay and in a decent organization. This is, however, only the beginning of your struggles in the workplace. Working life is certainly no bed of roses, especially in the initial stage as you battle with the unfamiliar complexities to face and meet with the new faces of your coworkers.
It is thus important for you to cultivate a rational and constant-learning mindset from the very beginning because no matter how highly coveted your first job role maybe, your continued success is dependent on your performance in your job, and the consistency of it through the years. A tip is to cultivate a habit to reflect on your performance at the end of each month, identify the areas in which you’re not doing as well as anticipated, and take the appropriate steps to improve. There is always room for improvement in everything that you do!
In conclusion, these are four of the biggest mistakes that may seem like a no-brainer but are often overlooked by fresh graduates and working adults. Be sure to avoid them so that your working life can be a more smooth-sailing one.