All our firsts leave a mark – good or bad. And, your first job is no exception. Your first job literally moulds you for all jobs to follow and one should reflect, taking in lessons learnt.
Your age at the time
The age that you enter into the marketplace is hugely impactful. Think about a child that starts school earlier than they should. They generally struggle to keep up and take a few years to catch up with the others. The same applies to your first job. Very often, you may not have matured enough to take on the pressures that a job brings. How you handle others, the workload, dealing with tough decisions and working your way up the ladder, can all be impacted by your age. So, if you find now that you are not as far professionally as you had hoped after a certain number of years, consider what age you were when you began this journey.
Aaah, your first boss can make or break you. Bosses rarely realise what an influence they can be on a newbie in the workforce. They can either be that much-needed mentor or they can break their spirit. No matter what type of boss you had, think about how you handled positive or negative actions. Have you made the most of good advice or ignored it? Have you crumbled under a pushy person or soured above adversity.
Our fellow office mates are also where we learn a lot. They are the first people we will interact with following our school peers. While some may the same age as us, many are older and more experienced. Dealing with envy and other negative attributes can be tough, but in the end, they help you to survive tougher throws from life.
Depending on whether you entered your first job straight from high school, took a gap year, or came in from tertiary studies, you will view everything very differently. The types of people we engage with on all those levels will assist or hinder us in our first jobs. Think about how you wanted to be viewed by your superiors and peers within your workplace, and no matter what your educational background was, know that you had something special to offer in your unique soft skill set.
Much like your first boss, your first mentor would have helped you find the path you are now on. Your mentor may have been your boss, it may have been a colleague, or even someone outside of work, like an uncle or a friend.
List what areas of your first job
have influenced your decisions to bring you to where you are today and then decide whether they were worth it. You may need to make some hard choices in changing from that first way of thinking or you may be on the right path still.