5 Tips to Survive Your First Job

Starting your first job is a new and possibly scary experience, so here are five tips on how to get through your first day and thrive in your new work environment.

 

  1. Get Organised

Before starting your first job, be sure you are organised to hit the ground running. This includes showing up a little bit early, being in uniform or dressed appropriately, being aware of any deadlines or events coming up and setting up your workspace so you feel organised and ready to go daily.

  1. Work on Positive Self-Talk

First job nerves are very normal, and it takes a bit of practice to learn how to use these nerves positively. You should practise positive self-praise and give yourself credit where credit is due – this will help you become much more confident which will help eliminate your nerves. Learning how to control your self-doubt and turn it into something constructive and positive will have a big impact on your success. Remember that everyone has been in your starting position, and the more you practise positive self-talk, the easier it gets.

  1. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

Entering the workforce for the first time can be scary and you may feel overwhelmed. People may be afraid to ask for help because they feel like a burden and feel like needing help is a sign of weakness. However, asking for help when you aren’t sure of what to do is a sign of confidence and strength. It also shows you are willing to learn and don’t want to make mistakes.

  1. Make Some Friends

Chances are you’re going to be spending a lot of time with your new co-workers and surviving your first job will be a lot easier (and a lot more fun) if you get on well with your colleagues. While they don’t need to be your best friends, developing a bond with your colleagues is important if you don’t want to feel alone. Go out for the occasional lunch or coffee. Be sure to ask questions about their lives – you never know, but you may have a lot more in common with these people than you originally thought. Working with people you get along with can impact your mood significantly.

  1. Back Yourself

Most importantly, don’t worry! You are going to make mistakes, especially in the first few weeks, but everyone knows that you are new to this and nobody expects you to perform incredible feats straight away. So, before you panic, remember that no one is perfect, everyone must start somewhere, and you’re allowed a few mistakes (just as long as you learn from these mistakes).

 

 

Mindset Matters: Staying Motivated and Keeping Your Self-Esteem in Check

There’s no denying that being in the right mindset is one of the most important things when you are new to the workforce. Employers have a tendency to hire people that they believe have the motivation and positive attitude that will benefit the business by working hard and reaching targets. If you have a negative attitude, low self-esteem and little motivation, you will find yourself struggling in the workplace with the internal barriers and limitations you have set against yourself.

Here, we outline how staying motivated and keeping your self-esteem in check will help you on your career path and in life.

Set Your SMART Goals

Once you’ve taken the time to set (and write down) your SMART goals, it’s time to turn those plans into action. But how do you get and stay motivated to achieve those goals in your new job?

Arming yourself with some good old-fashioned optimism and a positive attitude will do wonders to keep you motivated and in the right mindset.

People who are optimistic tend to have a good attitude and people with good attitudes generally:

  • L – look for opportunities
  • A – always look after themselves
  • U – use their skills to continue developing, learning and improving
  • G – go the extra mile/put in extra effort
  • H – hold themselves responsible for their successes and failures
  • S – Set goals giving themselves a sense of direction and purpose

The more you LAUGH, the more good habits you form.

By remaining optimistic and remembering to apply the LAUGHS attributes to all that you do, you’ll keep on track with your motivation. The best thing is that the more you apply the LAUGHS attributes, the easier and more natural they become in your daily life.

Attitude is Everything

It’s important to remember that employers look for an employee with the right attitude. The more you keep optimistic and LAUGH-ing in your daily activities, your positive attitude will shine through – something that your team members and employers will embrace and appreciate.

The esteem in which we hold ourselves is the single most important factor in determining our success and happiness. Simply put, you get what you think you deserve. If you know that you deserve success, that is precisely how you will think and act.

Here are some methods you can use – beginning today – to help you raise your self-esteem:

  • Say to yourself each day that you, and only you, determine your self-worth. Don’t ever judge yourself based on the opinions of others. Learn to welcome failure. High self-esteem comes from the belief that all obstacles are lessons rather than proof of your incompetence as a person. Remember, you are not a failure as a person simply because you failed at something: failing and learning is the key aspect to growing as a person and an employee.
  • Stop the negative self-talk. No more telling yourself “I’ll probably look stupid” and “I can’t do it”. Correct yourself mid-sentence if you catch yourself saying negative statements.
  • Take small risks each day and praise yourself for doing so, regardless of the outcome. Simply remind yourself how terrific you are for taking the risk.
  • Be more assertive and stop asking permission. As an adult asking permission means giving responsibility and control to someone else over you. It’s difficult to hold yourself in high esteem when there is no self-esteem.
  • Reduce your emphasis on material things as a measure of success. If your self-esteem is based on what you have, then you will always suffer from the disease called “more”. Your esteem as a person is a matter of attitudes, not accumulations and until you really understand this, you will always lack self-esteem.
  • Keep in mind each and every day, there are no ordinary moments. Every experience of your life should be enjoyed. When you learn to think in this way, you will never doubt your own worth because you will see fully that you yourself are extraordinary, this will allow you to be a valued team member and employee.

Working Respectfully

There can be times in the workplace when we find ourselves forgetting our etiquette or manners. It can happen within ourselves, with colleagues or with customers. Each generation has been taught to be respectful regarding others and has ideally learnt what level of respect to expect from to others.  There are times, however, when the intensity of work demands increase and stressful environments arise, causing people to lose their temper. As added work stress conflicts with the view of the individual, they tend to lose their head, potentially at the wrong person.

This is the reality of the workplace: you are employed to perform a service, with the expectation of that service being done politely and respectfully. This ensures the customer returns and you stay employed.

If a situation arises where you feel disrespected, it’s important not to take it personally. You will eventually come across customers or co-workers that get empowered by demeaning others. In one perspective, feel sorry for that person as the level of empowerment comes from a negative place. Some people do not feel the full empathy and respect that we take for granted, causing them to lash out on the unexpected victim and gain a minimal empowerment that makes them feel better about themselves.

In another perspective, we don’t know what the beginning of their mood stemmed from: it may be the worst possible scenario imaginable. Small moments of etiquette or manners can make or break a business and hopefully change the view of the world. It’s also important to become resilient to abrupt people with a gentle smile or a kind gesture as it may assist customers and co-workers in realising the error of their ways.  No matter how rude someone is towards you in the workplace, you must remain calm and professional as you have more to lose from reacting to their bad behaviour. Talk to a manager or someone about what’s going on and always remain respectful towards others.

Happiness & Healthiness At Work

Happy employees are healthier and more productive – so check the importance of having fun in the workplace

So many times, I hear people say, “Oh we should have a long weekend every weekend!!” And how cool would that be?  Just to only work 4 days and have the other 3 off 😊

While most people, generally, would rather spend time with their friends and family than be at work, there’s no need for work days to be all dull and boring.  It’s okay to have a little fun as well.  After all, most of us may have to work the 5-day week and some even longer.

Putting some time and effort into making your workplace a more enjoyable place to be can create positive vibes for employees, colleagues, and even the bosses and clients.  Here are 3 good reasons why fun should be part of our everyday working life.

Having fun at work improves communication!

Enjoying time with your work mates in more chilled and fun surroundings encourages honest and open discussions.  If employees can all get along at work, rather than just being ‘other people’ we work with, then they’ll work better together and communicate more effectively.

Having fun with people at work or play is a great way to learn how each other tick.   What we like, don’t like and build habits that create understanding. This gets us/them to better understand each other’s strengths, weaknesses and where the lines are drawn.

Fun at work creates creativity!

Most people will agree that young children often learn best when they are playing, interacting with other children; well the same applies to adults.

Everybody’s ability to learn gets better when the job you have been given is enjoyable and they’re in a relaxed mood. Play can create imagination, helping people to problem solve.

When there’s a buzz in the air, work mates become more enthusiastic and have lots of conversations about how their work is going and often will help if they see someone might be struggling.

Happy employees are healthier employees!

Happy and content employees who have fun at work are more likely to avoid the effects of stress and anxiety.

The health effects that happiness has on your work place will also help to reduce absence and increase productivity.  If workers are generally healthier because of the increased fun they’re having in the office, then they’ll take less time off due to sickness or just simply not wanting to go to work.  Again, wishing for that long weekend … EVERY weekend.

Anger and anxiety in the work place can create negative feelings of not wanting to be there.  Negative emotions are no good for you.  Constant stress or fear can alter biological systems and over time, will wear you down, and eventually, can cause such things as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Mobile Phones in the Workplace

As technology improves & evolves so the does the effects it has on society, especially the way we communicate. With the introduction of smart phones, it’s nearly impossible for a person in Western society not to own & use one on a regular basis. By 2019, it is estimated that there will be 4.68 billion mobile phone users worldwide.

With that said, what is the appropriate usage when it comes to mobile phones in the workplace? A common concern from employers, is the ill effects improper mobile phone usage has on their employees’ performance, especially those under 25. Below are some things to consider for both employees & employers, when it comes mobile phone usage at work.

  1. Safety- The number one priority in any workplace is the safety of its staff & customers. If you are constantly using your phone, you’re not 100% focused on the task at hand. Consider the safety of yourself, other staff & customers before picking up that phone. Also look at it from a legal point of view, if an incident occurs am I or the business liable?
  2. Customer Service- With a large majority of young people working in customer facing roles, mobile phones can have a serious impact on a business when it comes to customer relations. Remember, first impression last! If a customer enters your workplace & you’re on your personal phone texting, is that really a good look? Are you really giving that customer your full attention & service they deserve?
  3. Productivity- Statistics show that on average, Employees can spend up to 8 hours per week on their personal phone instead of working. What’s that costing businesses – you do the maths? When you’re at work you should be working, that’s what you get paid for. If you need to check your phone, wait until you are on your breaks. Something to think about next time you receive that text or call at work.
  4. Workplace policy- Does your workplace have a mobile phone usage policy? Employees, it’s a good idea to check your workplace agreement or speak with your Manager. The last thing you want to do is to jeopardise your current employment. Employers, if you don’t have one in place it may be a good idea to develop one. Make sure that your Employees are aware of what’s acceptable usage & what’s not- communication is key.
  5. Phone Addiction- Mobile phone addiction, also known by experts as: Nomophobia, is a real condition & has been proven to cause serious health risks for many Employees. Symptoms for this condition include feeling of anxiousness when separated from your smartphone, difficulty in focusing at work, and constantly checking your phone for notifications. If you, your Employee or someone you know is showing these symptoms, it is suggested you seek medical advice from a GP or health professional.

Tips for Work ‘Mental’ Health

Plenty of Sleep

Getting the right amount of sleep can assist in reducing stress at work.  It can cause a vicious cycle when it comes to not getting enough sleep.  Not sleeping well or only sleeping for a few hours can cause your stress levels to increase, and this lack of sleep will leave you vulnerable to even more stress. Getting plenty of sleep will help you to manage your emotions and help cope with stress much easier.

Leave for work Early

Leaving a little earlier for work and not rushing to your desk, workshop or counter every day, will have you feeling less flustered and more relaxed to begin your day/night.  Try leaving 10 to 15 minutes earlier each shift, depending on the time you start (as night work traffic may not be as confronting), to slow down your commute. Leaving a little earlier will let you ease into your shift and allow you time to think work mode. This may also mean that you miss the worst part of rush hour (if traveling in peak hour traffic), making you will feel more relaxed and having a safe journey.

Exercise

Exercise is vital for maintaining mental fitness and is known to reduce the stress and anxiety levels of everyday living. Physical activity produces endorphins which is a natural mood-booster and helps you to sleep better, which put together, reduces stress. A walk or some other physical activity can give you hours of relief from anxiety. Try aiming for three hours of moderate exercise a week and include 20 minutes of standard exercise into each day.  Make it part of your daily and weekly routine.

Eat Well

It’s all about filling yourself with foods that make you feel great, increase your energy levels, improve how you see things & make you feel better in general.  The way we eat and what we eat can change how we feel and add to a sense of well being.  Eating unhealthily can occasionally add to you feeling a bit down in the dumps.  But, certain nutrients, such as protein, monounsaturated fat, calcium and fiber are known to increase good moods.  But remember, by eating small and more frequent meals can also help put you in a good mood for the day.

Presentation Is Key

Presentation Is Key

 

You have probably heard of the saying “First Impressions are the most lasting” (Proverbs)

Well, it couldn’t be more vital when job hunting. Regardless of the industry your first encounter with potential employment starts with how you are viewed from the moment you walk into that interview. We suggest also to dress appropriately to the industry; no use walking onto a construction site in a suit or vice versa an office in overalls.

 

Your first impression can assist the decision if it comes down to a hard choice between yourself and someone else.

With technology at your fingertips, search on what requirements or dress code suits the job you’re applying for. This similarly creates an understanding, if not initiative, from the interviewee’s perspective and also a start to taking pride in your appearance promoting respect within yourself.

 

Quick Tips:

  • Ironed clothes are noticed
  • Hair – male or female, tidy it up
  • Fragrant smells invoke a memory, (not too much) and compliment your appearance

4 Reasons Why Staying Active Can Benefit You In The Workplace

If you exercise regularly, you would already understand there are many more benefits than just weight loss or staying in shape. Exercise helps improve all aspects of your life, including work productivity, alertness, mental health and much more.  Being productive and alert at work is very important and can help you get your job done faster, and more efficiently.  However, if you don’t exercise regularly, you could be putting your health and your job at risk.

Alertness and Energy

One way that exercise can help boost productivity at work is through alertness. When you exercise, you are also increasing blood flow to the brain, which can help sharpen your awareness and make you ready to tackle your next big project or task. Exercise can also give you more energy. Having more energy means you will feel more awake and alert at work. If you don’t have time to put in a full cardio workout each day, make small changes to meet your daily goals, such as walking during your lunch period or taking the stairs instead of the elevator this will all help in the long run.

Physical Health

Being healthy can help improve your overall work ability. Not only can exercising help reduce body weight and the risk for certain medical conditions, it also improves your cardiovascular health. This will then give you more stamina to meet the physical demands of your job. Exercise will also help reduce your risk of becoming injured on the job and allow you to meet the physical expectations required for your position. If you get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, up to five days a week it should keep you in great physical health.

Improves Mental Health

Another way to be more productive on the job is to have improved mental health. Regular exercise can help curb feelings of anxiety and depression. Exercise is one of the most under-utilized tools used to help with one’s Mental Health. When you exercise, your brain releases serotonin that helps you feel better and improves your state of mind. This therefore can help make the stresses of work easier to handle, as you are in a better mind set.  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that sends messages to the body to stimulate mood and emotion, therefore releasing that feel good feeling after exercise.  When you can deal with stress constructively, it can lead to improved relationships with your co-workers and a more secure future with your employer.

Illness Prevention

Regular exercise that includes power walking, running, weight lifting, swimming or jogging anything that increases your Heart Rate can help reduce your risk of developing certain types of illness and disease. This hopefully leads to fewer sick days at work. With an improved immunity, you minimize your chances for getting influenza and the common cold. Exercise reduces your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension and heart disease to name a few – all of which can interfere with work productivity.

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of a Job Interview

Job Interview Do’s:

  • Dress for the job you want. Research the company and use your judgement to dress accordingly. If unsure, it’s better to be more professional than not professional enough.
  • Always be early. This allows for traffic delays and other unforeseeable setbacks. It also allows time for you to familiarise yourself with your surroundings. It’s also hard to come back from the unprofessionalism of arriving late.
  • Smile at the interviewer and follow their lead in terms of introduction.
  • Be confident. You scored an interview, didn’t you?
  • Sit when offered to sit and ensure to sit upright when doing so.
  • Maintain eye contact while talking and listening.
  • Research the job description prior so you have some background information.
  • Establish early in the interview what the job entails so you can work your experience and skills around the position to suit their needs.
  • Answer questions succinctly and honestly.
  • Appear determined and interested.
  • Ask questions.
  • Conduct yourself in a professional manner.
  • Thank them for their time and the opportunity, regardless of the outcome or how the interview went.

 

Job Interview Don’ts:

  • Fidget, tap your fingers or feet, get distracted or look out the window. Not only is it distracting for the interview, it also shows disinterest in the job.
  • Use colloquial words, slang or jargon.
  • Answer questions dishonestly or long-windedly.
  • Answer questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
  • Talk negatively about your previous employers, colleagues or companies. You don’t know who they know or what their connections are. It also discourages them to hire you in case you leave on negative terms.
  • Say more than necessary.
  • Lose interest in the interview. If you change your mind about the job mid-interview, don’t let it show. It’s still important to conduct yourself professionally.
  • Get upset or react negatively if you feel like the interview isn’t going well. The interviewer may be testing your reaction.
  • Mention perks, salary, bonuses or holidays straight away. You want the job, not the perks. Of course, if the interviewer brings it up first, it’s okay to follow their lead and engage in conversation.
  • Sell yourself short. Know your market value and prepare to speak up if you feel there are any issues.

 

The 7 Things Ridiculously Happy Employees Do Differently

A happy employee can do anything to help the company achieve its goals. Happiness is not only important at the workplace, but necessary for long-term success, both for the company and its employees. It enhances productivity and helps to create a healthy work environment for everybody, encourages teamwork and increases job satisfaction.

Here are seven things that the ridiculously happy employees do differently from others.

Better at crafting

Here, crafting refers to the ability of happy employees to increase job satisfaction. It also hints at their ability to engage with each other and with customers better. They are able to demonstrate more resilience at work and strive to do their best possible job.

Agents of hope

Such employees are not only full of hope but also create hope wherever they go. They are advocates of hope. They report to work even when the situation demands otherwise. They believe in the company’s ability to turn unfavorable situations into great opportunities.

Adept at using humour positively

Humour can be such a powerful tool at the workplace. Its effectiveness depends on usage or application. The extremely happy employees know how to use humor to make the environment ideal for everybody. They use humor positively to cheer others up or break tension and bring the team closer together.

Tackle pessimism

Pessimism is one of the worst workplace challenges. It just puts everybody down. Happy employees understand the effect pessimism can have in the workplace. Therefore, they go out of their way to ensure pessimism is not a part of the furniture. Avoid getting involved in gossip and always face coworkers with a positive attitude.

Advocate self-efficacy

Self-efficacy, or the ability to produce positive results on your own, is an integral part of any successful workplace. Job satisfaction is one of its results. Employees who pursue self-efficacy are most likely to be happier with their work. Besides earning respect and trust from your employer and coworkers, this will help you become more resilient, confident, open-minded and creative at work and in your personal life.

Overcome stress

Stress at the workplace is not uncommon. How everybody at the office responds to stress is the most important factor here. Happy employees train their minds to focus on non-stressful issues. They know that their health suffers when the mind pays too much attention to stress. Talking openly about challenges you’re facing at work and finding little things that bring you joy on a daily basis will help you keep your balance and lower your stress-levels.  

Remain faithful to the course

Extremely happy employees have no trouble being loyal or faithful even when everybody else seems to be falling by the wayside. They display grit. They demonstrate perseverance in good and bad times. Your level of determination and commitment at work is in direct proportion with your level of happiness an work.

Are you currently facing challenges at work? At Employment First Aid, we’ve made it our mission to help young people like you stay in work by giving them the necessary skills and tools to do their best work, communicate effectively and increase happiness at work.

We’d love to hear from you! Chat with us on Messenger, send us an email or give us a call anytime on 1800 118 008.