Advice for your first full-time job

We spoke to Naomi at Positive Prov about what she learnt from her first six months in the working world, here are her tips, in her words…

”Ask questions!”

Doing so is vital for your learning and development. While work may just seem like work, the processes and procedures you follow day in, day out, are all in place for a reason.

Sometimes, it’s obvious, e.g. printing emails for hard copy files so as to prevent any loss of information, should the digital copy go awry.

Sometimes, it’s not so obvious, e.g. why some clients are assigned certain colour or numerical codes, while others are not.

If you don’t know it and there isn’t an obvious reason, ask. No one is going to think you stupid, you’d have no reason to know otherwise. In fact, it is likely your colleagues will be pleased to see your curiosity, particularly if your question is regarding something that many would categorise as on the more mundane side of things.

Double (triple) check

No one wants to do anything wrong at work, especially when you’re newbie. Mistakes are inevitable every now and again but their likelihood can be reduced.

Double and triple check your work – I can’t stress it enough. Luckily for me, *touch wood*, I haven’t made any serious mistakes at work, and I want to keep it that way. While it might seem a bit regiment, I treat every bit of work I’m set as an assessment. No matter how minor, I place a great deal of importance on it. The most common places for mistakes are usually in the most obvious places: digits of a telephone number, postcodes and names of addressees. Check the minutiae.

You and your credibility will be ever so pleased you did.


The humble lunch hour; the quickest of hour of the day. It goes by in a flash, right? First things first: always take your full hour. Aside from this, there are three rules for getting the most out of my lunch breaks:

A. Step outside

Sit in a park, eat outside, walk round the block or just run an errand. Even if the weather dire, as it often is, make going outdoors an essential part of your lunch hour. I’ve found that 10 minutes out in the fresh air, especially in the winter, really resets my brain after being cooped up in the office.

B. Switch off

There’s an immediate tendency to check out phones as soon as we have a free moment – catching up with what’s going on in our personal lives. However, if you’ve been looking at a PC screen for the past few hours, transitioning to a smaller version is not giving you a rest.

Take 10 minutes of time for yourself and your thoughts – think about something non-work related, perhaps what you’ve got planned for the weekend. No info processing needed.

C. Preparing for the return to the office

Taking a couple of minutes on the walk back to go through your mental to-do list or action plan will help you ease into tackling those tasks you may have been putting off during the morning. Make sure you give yourself enough time, try not to rush back. Sit down, take a moment, then ace the afternoon.


For me, the way I dress influences my mood, my confidence and to some extent, the motivation levels I have during the given day. At my workplace, the dress code is very relaxed, however, I always dress smartly, even on ‘dress-down Fridays’. It’s just in my nature. When I’m dressed like I ‘mean business’, I find that my mind is in the right frame to (for use of a better phrase) get sh*t done.

Whether you like to dress smart or casual, make it you. Make sure you feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing – you don’t need to be anything particularly special, it’s what you feel like that counts. Heck, if you want to do a Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg and wear the same outfit every day–why ever not?

Be prompt

Time-management is such an important skill. In fact, I think it is up there with the top three necessary skills to succeed, in anything. Sure, you could be the expert in your field but if you can’t deliver what’s expected of you at the time it is expected, what use is your knowledge?

Ensure you are prompt in:

A. Starting work

Arrive a bit early than you’re set to start working: put the kettle on, slip off your commute shoes, touch up your hair/makeup if you so wish. Get in your zone.

B. Doing your work

When you’re set a task, ensure you ask whether it’s urgent or what timescale the individual delegating to you is working to. Then, ensure you exceed the deadline.

If you’re told to have work in by 3pm, get it to them at 2:30pm *provided* you don’t have to rush it, as you’ll only make a mistake and cause delay in taking the time to rectify it.”


Don’t lose focus on your end goal.

Do not allow yourself to get stuck in your job, even if you’re enjoying it. Make sure you’re aware of other opportunities in your circle and always keep a behind-the-scenes focus on that end goal. That being said, ensure you actually enjoy the job you do in the meantime while you’re working on getting to the goal. Sure, there will be days when nothing seems to be going right, or you’re stuck doing mundane and repetitive work, but keeping an eye on the goal will keep your spirits up.

While you may not be where you want to be, you are taking a step within the journey there. Just think about yourself in a couple years from that moment, you’ll back at yourself thinking about how much you worked and grafted to get where you’re at.

Be patient. As the saying goes: good things come to those who wait.

For more tips on the working world; how to get a job, keep a job and love your job, click here

Blog sourced from: