Congratulations! You’ve earned your credentials and landed your first job. But instead of feeling excited, you could be feeling a little overwhelmed, and that’s understandable. After all, in addition to trying to make a good impression on your boss, there’s a good chance you’re concerned about being accepted by your coworkers and that you’ll make a newbie mistake.
To quell your fears and help get your career off to a good start, we’ve created this list of six common mistakes new employees make and how to avoid them.
Mistake 1. Wasting Money
Up until now, your job has been going to school, but that hasn’t paid the bills. Now that you’re earning a paycheck, it’s tempting to eat out every day and treat yourself to a new wardrobe. Before you know it, you’re spending more money than you’re bringing in.
Tip: Use Mint to find out what you spend your paycheck on. Then use the app to create a budget, keep an eye on your credit score, and pay bills. You can even sign up to receive customized money saving tips.
Mistake 2. Stressing Out
No list of entry level advice would be complete without mentioning stress. Some amount of stress can be a good thing, as it shows you have a strong work ethic and care about doing a good job. But chronic stress can lead to sickness and sub-par job performance.
Tip: You’ll face stress throughout your career; the sooner you learn to handle it, the better. Get started with the Breathe and Relax app, which will help you develop the habit of breathing in a relaxed manner so you can reduce your stress and boost energy.
Mistake 3. Resisting Change
Many entry level employees aren’t prepared for the amount of change that comes with being in the workplace. As a result, they’re resistant. This attitude doesn’t earn any points with the boss or co-workers.
Tip: From changes in policies to changes in job descriptions, today’s workplace is ever-evolving. You’ll fare best if you face each day by expecting the unexpected. You might even consider capitalizing on change, like learning the ins and outs of a new software program and helping coworkers who aren’t as technically proficient.
Mistake 4. Complaining
Even if you’re in love with your new job, there will be things you aren’t happy with. But don’t make the mistake of complaining about them or you’ll be labeled a whiner.
Tip: If there’s something you’re concerned about, make note of it. Outline what the problem is, and then brainstorm how it might be done differently. Your boss will be much more open to your “complaint” if it’s articulated clearly and accompanied by possible solutions.
Mistake 5. Being Careless with Social Media
You’ve grown up with social media, so you’re accustomed to sharing your life openly, but that can lead to a world of trouble at work. Unfortunately, it’s a lesson many entry level workers learn the hard way.
Tip: If you haven’t done so already, set your social media security settings so only those you choose can see what you post. Then, use a tool like Persona, which will keep tabs on your social media content and alert you the moment something potentially damaging is posted.
Mistake 6. Breaking Office Etiquette
From leaving the break room a mess to carrying on a personal conversation when others are trying to work, there are many workplace faux pas entry level employees make.
Tip: Knowledge is power, so don’t hesitate to ask your mentor or a teammate for insight into the particular dos and don’ts of your office. In addition to giving you the heads up about everyday office etiquette, they can also alert you to your boss’ pet-peeves.
In addition to avoiding the mistakes we’ve outlined above, you’ll make a good name for yourself around the office by remaining positive when things go wrong (and they will). For example, if the Internet goes down, use it as an opportunity to tackle non-Web related tasks instead of dwelling on lost productivity. Even though recent study reports 58 percent of Millennials say they’d rather lose their sense of smell than their Internet connection, there is life offline.
We hope our tips help you feel more prepared and less anxious about embarking on your career. For more valuable advice, turn to these 25 TV characters – just don’t read about them when you’re on the clock.
Sarah Pike is a freelancer and college writing instructor. When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s probably binge-watching RomComs on Netflix or planning her next camping trip. She also enjoys following far too many celebrities than she should on Instagram. You can find Sarah on Twitter at @sarahzpike.