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10 things you learn in the first year of work

10 things you learn in the first year of work

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics Report generated for 2017, the unemployment rate in the US for graduates is only 2.4%. This means that only one out of 40 college students isn’t working while the rest of the graduates have already begun their careers.

The first year of your work is crucial as it helps you build your future. How you tackle this year largely dictates how you’d tackle the rest of your life.

You will learn tons of things during the first year of your work life. Let’s have a look at few such things:

1. Work friends are different from college friends

According to Harvard Business Review, we all need friends at work but it can be quite confusing to manage work friendships.

Work friendships are nothing like university friendships. When it comes to practical life, it is a race and we all want to be first.

Your friends will not always look out for you and you need to up your game if you wish to move ahead. It’s not all fun and games as responsibilities are involved.

Plus, when it comes to work, grades are there as well. You need to keep the hierarchy in mind when you go around playing pranks on your friends. As you start your professional career, you will realise how friendships differ and how they can often be a liability and not an asset.

2. Degrees aren’t everything

You had been hearing from college days that the more qualified you are, the more money you can make. When you get employed, you learn the real truth behind it.

It’s not the degrees but the passion you have to excel forward that counts. It’s your hard work and your commitment that pushes you to the top and once you’re there, money isn’t a problem.

Employers now pay more attention to the skills you possess than the degrees you have.

3. You need a change in your lifestyle

Gone are the days when you wore hoodies and tank tops to college and hung out like a gang. When you step into the corporate world, you need to say goodbye to funky attire and embrace the dress code of your workplace.

You may have to bring other changes as well, such as take steps to hide tattoos since 37% managers think tattoos can hinder growth. This is a concern especially in the US where 45 million people have at least one tattoo.

4. Face workplace politics

You will learn that politics is everywhere, at workplaces too. It may get difficult to cope up with the pressure initially, but you’ll eventually learn to deal with workplace politics that will also teach you a few things about the business world.

5. Timing should be your first priority

Getting into the corporate world teaches you the importance of time. In the world of business, there are repercussions.

If you are in the habit of coming late, you’ll eventually learn to be on time or have to lose your job.

6. Your true potential

When you enter the workforce, you will realize your true potential and how you had never worked at your fullest.

You tend to work well when there are deadlines and pressure. This will make you realise how you can always work harder to get better results, and find your own strengths you were not aware of.

7. It is okay to quit

About 1/4th of graduates leave their first job within a few months for one reason or the other.

When you get a job, you will understand why this happens. Your first job may not always be what you had been looking for, and it is okay to move to greener pastures. However, make sure you have a valid reason to move on.

8. Keep your cool

It does not matter how impatient or angry you are, you will learn to keep calm within the first few months of joining an office.

Not doing so can have dire consequences since getting into fights can even get you fired.

9. You'll learn to control your emotions

Bosses can be mean, and you must be able to handle their tantrums. You cannot hit back, unless you want to get fired.

This can be difficult for some, but you’ll eventually learn to control your emotions, especially anger and hatred.

10. Homework is still not over

You might be asked to sit late and finish your work or even work from home if your work is unfinished.

Many organisations deliberately put you through such tests just to see how dedicated you are to your career.


It’s always an overwhelming feeling to get employed and work at a reputable organization. Get ready to learn new things and grow as it is a beautiful experience. 

Corinne Ledling is a businesswoman who’s very passionate about her job. She’s a Content Manager at and loves to share career tips and tricks and her work experience.

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