First Job, First Month Survival Guide Part 5 – Things To Consider

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In the final part of the guide, Mark brings up a couple of topics that might be going through your head within the first month and some things to remember when you may doubt yourself.


Why have they employed you?

It’s not uncommon to develop some nagging doubts during those early weeks and months about whether you can cope, so here’s a couple of things to think about by way of a bit of reassurance.

Remember, they hired you – that’s important

You have been hired. The organisation which has employed you spent time, effort, and cold hard cash, often quite a lot of all three, in looking to find, interview, select and engage someone; and out of all the people who went into the find part of the process (and believe me, there’s likely to have been a lot), they chose you.

So always remember:

 they’ve not hired you for the fun of it, they’ve done so because they have work that needs doing (probably lots of it as you are possibly finding out);

 they have picked you to do it; and

 they (particularly the individuals involved in the recruiting process) are invested in you and you making a go of it.

After all, having spent all that time, effort and money, don’t you think the people who were involved in hiring you are going to want the process to be seen to be successful? If it goes well they’ve got bragging rights about what a good choice they made in you haven’t they? But if you don’t do well, or even leave, then that’s a pain for them; not only might they look bad in front of their colleagues for having got it wrong, but the likelihood is they are going to have to go through the process all over again.

The bottom line? Once you have been hired, whatever it feels like, people will be wanting to make the job work for you so they will be motivated to

help and be supportive. All you have to do is manage this the right way.

But what if I don’t know how to do the job?

If this is troubling you as a question it’s worth asking yourself what they hired you for (and spoiler alert), it’s not usually your skills or experience.

There are broadly three things that employers can be looking for in a potential employee and these are:

Skills – your technical ability at the task.

Aptitude – your natural ability for the task.

Attitude – your behaviour towards the task.

A well-used recruitment mantra is Hire for attitude, train for skills.

This reflects a view that your attitude towards the work will be driven by your personality, which is something that will be really hard to change, whereas particular skills can be taught (and for some entry level positions there may be no assumptions about you having any previously acquired technical skills at all).

In some rare cases employers who want to train people in their own particular approach can deliberately look for people with little or no technical skills or prior experience in an area so that they can start with a clean sheet.

Whilst Hire for attitude, train for skills seems a sensible approach, it is however a little simplistic as training someone with aptitude is easier than training someone without.

I personally have the hand-eye coordination of a sack of cement with the athletic physique to match. However much I might want to, be keen to learn and be prepared to put the effort in, my aptitude for developing the skills required to become a world class ping pong player is therefore abysmal. So, if an organisation wanted to hire someone to train for this role, whatever my attitude, I should quite rightly come last on the list of possible candidates.

So, in taking you on your employer will have taken a view on your skills, or even lack of them, and will have decided to hire you taking these into account, usually because they felt your attitude and your aptitude were actually what they were looking for.

And if they are happy about your attitude and aptitude, given that they know what they were looking for in respect of your job, then really, who are you to argue?


This guide series is a direct extract from Mark Blayney’s book ‘Your First Job’

Each year in the UK approximately half a million young people enter the world of work for the first time and begin to compete in their careers.
And how well you cope with the pressures and demands of your first year of work can help determine how successful a career you will go on to have, and how far you will reach.
But with Your First Job, you can get an unfair advantage over your contemporaries by quickly learning the real life techniques of how to manage people and work, things they may end up learning the hard way.
So ensure you are equipped for example with the skills to say No, and manage your time to be productive and efficient, and avoid the dangers of being overwhelmed and stressed out by the levels of work that can head your way if you don’t know how to manage the demands of people around you at work.
So get your copy of Your First Job today and use the tools and techniques it will teach you to make a success of starting work and help you launch your successful career.

Get Mark's book here