Top Stories

People Share The Best Advice For Someone Starting Their First Job

Reddit user CampDreamy asked: 'What advice would you give someone starting their first job?''

man holding book on road during daytime
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Starting your first job is always nerve-wracking. The start of anything new usually is. That's why it's helpful to get some advice.

Before I started my first job, a friend of mine told me that there were a lot of things I should be willing to do in order to become indispensable, but one thing I should never do is give up lunch.

Even if it's a busy day and everyone is working through lunch, take five minutes to buy something at the deli next door or pop something in the microwave. You will not do your best work if you do not eat a meal.

I was very glad to get that advice, and it was something I always followed.

I also followed my own personal rule of writing down the process to do anything at work, even if it was as simple as where to look for a particular file. Anytime I thought 'oh, I'll remember,' I ended up having to ask again. It's always better to write it down so you not only know how to do it, but are the one that people come to when they need to know how to do it.

I'm not the only one that has good advice for someone starting their first job. Redditors are full of advice and are ready to share.

It all started when Redditor CampDreamy asked:

"What advice would you give someone starting their first job?"

Think Positive

"95% of success is showing up on-time and not having a bad attitude."

– Firebolt164

"There’s a quote that goes something like: you don’t need an advanced degree to show up on time, work hard, and have a positive attitude."

"I basically used this as my mantra as I built my career (and still do)."

– tyrannosean

"This has been my experience in my first ~5 years of employment. Being someone that people enjoy interacting with, sticking to deadlines, and broadly trying to make lives easier rather than harder will get you pretty close to the top, and it’s a lot easier than working overtime every day."

– 2catsinatrenchcoat

"Yep, when I was younger I always thought that just showing up on time, being a decent person to work with, and doing a good job were the bare minimum that everyone did....I learned later that this will put you above approximately 90% of your co-workers."

– raoulduke212

Sound Advice

"Poop on company time."

– 1320Fastback

"Well, sh*t."

– CampDreamy

"Boss makes a dollar, I make a dime. That's why I poop on company time."

– mrselfdestruct066

Everyone Makes Mistakes

"Don't worry about f**king up. You're going to f**k up. We all f**k up. Constantly."

"Learn from it when you f**k it up so you do it better next time and you'll be the best employee in any job."

– MaximumZer0

"And when (not if) you f**k up, own up to it, and do your best to fix it. It's way easier to fix a mistake when it first happens than 3 weeks or even hours down the line. This applies to basically any field."

– super5aj123

Gossip Girl

"Listen to gossip if you want, but never spread it."

– GamerMomLife

"Yep. I worked in a private pool snack bar kitchen last summer, and nearly all of my coworkers were high school girls. The amount of sh*t they talked on each other was insane, but I just tried my best to not get involved. It never became anything other than sh*t-talking, but it's just a good idea in general to keep your head down."

– super5aj123

"I work in a kitchen with majority middle-aged women, and it's simular to what you described."

– DeadStar800

Do It All

"If they tell you to sweep, just sweep. You still make the same amount. Unless you’re an MD or something else, in that case you’re f**ked!"

– PublicEnema11

"A programmer consultant I knew in the 90s lived by the motto "it all pays the same.""

"You want him to spend his $50/hr time doing things that an unpaid intern could handle? Sounds like an easy day."

– Cacafuego

(Don't) Let It Burn, Burn, Burn

"Don’t burn bridges if you quit or get fired."

– kbrown423

""Never cut what you can untie.""

"- Robert Frost"

– sophistt_

It's All Public

"Assume everybody in the company plus clients will read every email you send."

– CouchieWouchie

"Yeah this is genuinely a great rule that will save your @ss. Write every email as if it will be read by the whole org."

– FrungyLeague

"Also speak as though anything you say is being recorded."

– squished_frog

Protect Yourself

"Document EVERYTHING. Every time punch. Every direction from your supervisor."

– DejectedDonut

"Do this if you are working outside your duties/responsibilities as well, or directed to do things. You want a paper trail of why you did what you did if something screwy happens."

"Ideally, the work place should concentrate on policy, protocol, training, engineering and admin controls and such... but well stuff isnt always ideal."

– Zech08

Work Friends

"You're going to feel tempted to make strong relationships with your coworkers - but remember that you shouldn't share with anyone what you wouldn't want known by everyone. You may think you can trust someone, but you should have a bit of caution."

"A lot of work relationships feel a bit like a friendship, but they are not. If they move on, or you do, it is rare that you will stay in touch. Accept it for what it is."

– Mobtor

Education

"Take advantage of tuition reimbursement to get degrees/certifications that will benefit your career and don't worry about "owing" the company for it."

"Many industries have pretty generous tuition reimbursement programs where they cover your school but you owe them time after they cut those checks. A typical program might have a requirement that if you leave the company you need to pay back anything they had paid out in the last two years."

"The thing is that you want to leverage that degree for a salary jump and the current company won't give it to you because they have you "locked" in now, right?"

"So you interview for your next job and when that company gives you an offer you explain that you're on the hook for the tuition reimbursement at your old company "and since you will be getting the benefit of that education I will need a signing bonus to cover my financial obligation to my current employer.""

"Keep in mind that the signing bonus will be taxable income so you need to shoot for an amount that will have taxes taken out and leave what you need to pay back the tuition."

"I've known too many people who didn't get a degree that could have really helped them but they didn't want to be "on the hook" to their employer. I even know one guy who spent close to $30k out of his own pocket to get a master's degree because he didn't want to "be stuck here" when he was done."

– tacknosaddle

The Little Moments Matter

"Don’t miss any major life events (or the major life events of close family/friends) for work. You might feel pressure from your employer not to take the time off."

"The family/friends will still be around for many years, the first job probably won’t."

– mxxiestorc

Learn To Save

"Pension! Pension! Pension!"

"Put as much as you can afford to into your pension. Retirement might seem a lifetime away but the sooner you save for it the sooner you can achieve it."

– Grayzo

Money, Money, Money

"Pack a lunch! Eating out can put a huge dent in your paycheck!"

– awileycat

"Can't stress this enough. For the price of eating out unhealthy food for 1 day you can usually pack healthier lunch for 2-3 days."

– QuantumExileMusic

Oh, yes! I found out about that last one the hard way...and still haven't learned!

Things People Secretly Love But Would Never Admit To In Public

Reddit user sweet_chick283 asked: 'What do you secretly love that you would never admit to in public?;

Collection of VHS tapes
Bruno Guerrero/Unsplash

What makes us all unique is our passions and the things we love, whether it's singing in the shower, reading books, or listening to specific music artists.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where we are judged for our various tastes and interests thanks to social media, and it makes us consciously selective about sharing the things we love on the internet.

Curious to hear about people's personal desires under anonymity, Redditor sweet_chick283 asked:

"What do you secretly love that you would never admit to in public?"

These aren't really chores for the following Redditors.

Good Clean Fun

"Mopping, im a janitor and generally hate my work... but damn mopping is so good."

– MrDDog06

"When you have a great rhythm going it is something special. I get the same feeling while I vacuum, but won’t let my wife know I enjoy it."

– Bogus_34

Act Of Unwrinkling

"Ironing clothes. A dozen of them. Can’t explain how it relaxes me. I told one person and they looked at me like I’m crazy."

– eerie_white_glow

"My mum misses the days when dad would be out on a Friday night, my brother out with friends and me upstairs quietly playing PS1. She would pour herself a Bacardi & Coke and do the ironing while watching her TV shows."

"I'm sure she doesn't really miss it now that we've moved out and they've retired but it was her wind-down after a busy working week so I can see how people can find it relaxing."

– xdq

Our solo actions can spark joy.

Big Brother Is Watching

"pretending to be on the Truman show and whenever im in my house i act all inconspicuous so they dont know that i know that they’re watching me."

– Bec_121

"C’mon man, you’re not supposed to let him know. You signed a contract when signing up for live views. I’m reporting you."

– doeswaspsmakehoney

The Multi-Tasker

"Playing video games naked at home while eating cheese."

– thickening_agent

Releasing The Kraken

"I love the feeling when you've eaten good fibre and let out a solid long train log in the toilet. That feeling is heavenly."

– therapoootic

"Even better when it’s a clean wipe and not a poo crayon."

– TheWarmestHugz

Ultimate Comfort

"My (male 41) weekend routine is coming home from work, make hot chocolate, start a fire, dress in a ugly pink nightgown made for old ladies and watch forensic files."

– crazyloomis

Some people are obsessed with collecting things.

So Kawai

"Sanrio stationery stores. All those different multicolor pens, a thousand kinds of erasers, spiral bound notebooks galore... my kids sadly have absolutely no appreciation for this wonderland..."

– HavingNotAttained

It's A Staple

"Office supplies have a weird, special place in my heart ever since I was a kid. They don't even have to be 'cute' necessarily."

"Japan's legendary stationery stores is unironically a reason I want to go."

– _CozyLavender_

Not Caring Anymore

"The older I get the shorter that list gets. Not because I love less things, but because I don't care about hiding it."

– Bi-Beast

"YES!! I'm 53 now. I'm working my first job in public since 2006. Today is Halloween and we're allowed to dress up so I am sitting here waiting to go to work dressed as a VERY bad Wednesday Addams. My bf said I'd 'look stupid' because no one else will probably dress up and I'm like, 'WHO CARES!' My makeup looks horrible and not like I practiced, but I DO NOT CARE! I'm having fun with it anyhow and I don't care if my coworkers dress up or not. I'm bein' ME! :)"

– deanie1970

Honorable mentions start here.

The Savior

"Picking up worms from the street and sidewalks when it rains and moving them into the dirt so they don’t burn in the sun, every time it rains I do this."

– sky_kitten89

Hero Of The Moment

"Yoooo I scoot SO many snails and worms. I work as a tech/mechanic at an automotive shop, I had a peoject car towed to my house the other day and it was covered in snails. I saw them when the tow guy/coworker was unloading and I was like, 'oh! It comes with free snails!' and began moving them. He laughed then realized and said, '... Oh, you're serious. Uh... Okay.'"

"I don't care who knows it. These little things barely can look out for themselves, why shouldn't we if we can take a moment to help? I don't care what happens next, it probably doesn't matter overall but I can help this moment."

– chris14020

Why should some of the hidden desires mentioned above have to be secret?

Redditors opening up about some of these would make them a hit at parties–no shaming.

As a matter of fact, I'll totally be down for a Forensic Files viewing party where we all make hot chocolate, light the fireplace, and cozy up together in our respective pink ugly nightgowns for old ladies.

historical reenactors
Sigmund on Unsplash

We've probably all heard some variation of the saying "Truth is stranger than fiction."

Real life isn't just strange, it can also be downright ridiculous.

History is riddled with moments of absurdity.

So ridiculous that people have a hard time believing real life is, well, really real.

Keep reading...Show less