First Job Tips: Are You Killing Your Career With These Fatal Mistakes?

First Job Tips: Are You Killing Your Career With These Fatal Mistakes?

Don't make these mistakes in your first job
Don’t make these mistakes in your first job

First jobs tend to occupy a very special place in our life. We often see it as the start of an unknown yet incredible journey that initiates us into the responsibilities of adulthood. From the time when we can barely make mindful decisions for ourselves, we are looking forward to this time – wondering what our first job will be like, how will the office culture be, will we fit in and so and so forth.

In all the excitement concerning the first job and the zeal to make our mark, we read up articles on how to make a great first impression and get working from the get-go. However, a lot of us forget certain first job tips that must be kept in mind to ensure a blossoming career.

I say ‘yes’ and ‘yes’ and ‘yes’

You might think that agreeing to everything that your boss says is a good thing. Afterall, that will make you appear likeable and agreeable, and pave way for a more fruitful tenure. However, saying ‘yes’ to everything might actually be killing your career.

While you should appear agreeable and likeable in general, your boss should also see you as someone who can differentiate the right from wrong and is not a complete ‘yes’ man. Also, not being able to say ‘no’ will make you seem like a person who cannot take a stand for himself.

Being a people-pleaser will only take you so far in your job.

Always being competitive

Competitiveness is good, right?! From a very young age, the seed of competitiveness is sown in us. However, being competitive is a good thing only when the competition is healthy. When both the parties can have fun without hampering their or others work and/or peace of mind, resulting in increased productivity, then it is healthy competition.

When you cannot look beyond yourself to realise that you are part of a team and not an individual player, then you might be on the wrong side of competitiveness. You cannot ever lose sight of what the bigger picture is and why you were hired by the company in the first place.

Your personality and individual conflicts should not come between you, your team and the main job objective.

Missing the deadline

If you want to grow in your first job, then you cannot afford to miss deadlines. One of the surest ways to rise in your career is to ensure that you are always proactive and meeting the demands of the job and adhering to deadlines.

While you might generally be a hardworking person, willing to put in your 200% when required, sometimes you need to take a step back before committing to certain deadlines. Set realistic deadlines for yourself as an individual and as a team. You should know your limitations and how much time you need to do the work in the best possible manner so that it is not rushed through and is error-free.

If you commit yourself to a target which you think will be backbreaking to achieve, talk to your manager about it. Only agree to deadlines which you are sure you can meet. If you think you can’t achieve something within the given time period, say it.

Hampering other’s work

Remember the movie ‘Three Idiots’? A night before the exams, the topper of the batch, nicknamed Chatur would go about distracting other students so that they wouldn’t stand a chance against him.

If your need to be the best moves in the Chatur category where you disturb others or hamper their work to come out on top, then you need to check your behaviour right now. These tactics might fly by in schools or colleges but will land you in serious trouble in an office environment.

If you hamper the productivity of other people or don’t let them work, it will force them to avoid you and create a very negative impression about you. This behaviour of yours might also reflect in the ‘work-points’ that managers give to their employees and subsequently in your appraisals and bonuses.

Playing politics

There is a reason office politics is looked down upon my most senior managers; it creates a negative work environment, suffocates employees and can hamper productivity. As such, playing politics in office, especially if you are just starting out will not get you anywhere. Of course, you might earn a bad reputation for yourself but that will be it.

If you indulge in sly politics, then you will not just be instigating conflicts, but it will also put your colleagues against you and make you come across as an untrustworthy individual.

Trust is an important factor when it comes to succeeding in a job, and playing dirty will slowly but surely kill your career.


Finding your dream job and starting off with elan is great, loving your job and ensuring that you are always one step ahead and prepared for success is even better, but while you do everything right, you should also steer clear of the wrongs that might kill the growth of your career.

So, stay true to your company’s motto and work as a team player. Try to shine and get noticed through your smart and hard work and not because you have been trying to climb over someone’s back. Learn how to take a stand for yourself and know your limits and skills-set.

Also, an important part to remember, especially during your first job is that you can always ask others for help. Since you are new in the field, no one expects you to know everything. So, ask as many questions as you can (given the questions are smart and insightful) and learn; for this will be the best time for you to expand your knowledge and learn without any shame or fear of being judged.

And, most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the job. The more you enjoy and love it, viewing it as something which brings more than just money into your household, the more inspired you will feel and the better your performance will be.

All the best!

P.S: Got any doubts? Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments section.