Common First-Job Tips You Might Want to Seriously Reconsider

By the SMU Social Media Team

You’ve heard them all before, how you should make yourself stand out at every meeting and approach your new job with confidence and gumption? While being a full-on go-getter works for certain industries and at some levels, you can’t possibly be asking your boss to give you more work when you are already drowning in projects or overstep your boundaries as a newcomer. Here are some well-known tips you might want to “reconsider” as the office newbie:


“Dress to Impress” 




You might have donned a full suit for the interview, but when you’ve landed the job, does it mean you always have to be dressed to the nines? It all depends on your company’s culture and your role. While the finance and banking industry might require formal wear (shirts, ties and jackets), start-ups, tech companies or even advertising agencies tend to have a more casual working environment where even the bosses might come into the office in denim. Take a cue from your colleagues and dress to fit the office culture and look professional. And remember: don’t make too much of an impression with your sense of style and risk allowing your outfit to overshadow your actual abilities.


“The only person you can depend on is yourself!”

While you might have aced school by being competitive and standing out, the fact remains that we can never get what we want or to where we aim for without the help of others. Develop meaningful and professional relationships with your team members and even superiors, and never burn any bridges. This will ensure the least possibility of stepping on anyone’s toes on the way up and decrease the number of people waiting to tear you down.


Tired and exhausted young woman sleeping on printer in the office.


“Always be proactive! Take initiative!”

There is a limit to what you can handle and there’s a fine line between looking like an eager-to-learn employee and coming off as trying too hard again. Never bite off more you can chew and always take things at a manageable pace. There will be times when we feel a little overwhelmed from entering the workforce and the workload may seem a little too much. At times like those, it is clearly not the best to be overly proactive just because you want to get into your boss’ good books. Focus on quality work and take the initiative when your capacity allows for it. Remember that a reasonable amount of time is needed to adapt; don’t jump the gun.