Realistic Expectations for First Full-Time Jobs
Alanza listens when her supervisor describes Alanza's responsibilities as the new assistant in the design center at GreenFriendly Fashions. Liddy explains that Alanza will work on a team analyzing fashion trends for both men and women, assist with creating clothing descriptions for the next catalog, help unload boxes and set up exhibits at fashion shows, and write and distribute reports to the staff after each fashion event.
Later, Alanza complains to her friends, "I didn't spend all that time in fashion school so I could unload boxes and write reports. I took this job for the creativity and excitement!"
A common topic discussed among employers is the difference in expectations by companies and their new employees. While excitement and creativity are reasonable work goals, it is unrealistic to expect every day to be a barrel of fun. Points business people make about work can help you fit in faster and achieve your goals more quickly.
1. Instant gratification is occasional, not the norm. You'll hear a well-deserved compliment now and then from your supervisor for exceptional work, but you will not be applauded for every good performance. Supervisors expect employees to deliver high quality work at all times, without instant approval or reward.
2. Some, but not all, work will be exciting. All careers include boring tasks, and every job from entry level to CEO consists of some tedious work. While you may not like dull tasks, do them without becoming irritable.
3. Honesty wins hands-down. You will make mistakes on the job, no doubt about it! Employers can accept your mistakes, but not your dishonesty or cover-ups. A key reason for your long-term success will be your supervisor's confidence that you can be trusted to always tell the truth. Conversely, one of the fastest ways to damage your career is to lose your supervisor's trust.
4. Job-hopping creates career problems. Supervisors want to see an employee in action for several months before deciding about the long-term value of the person to the company. "Microwave careers" that start fast and grow quickly are rare. Getting your hands dirty by learning a job inside out is the best way to succeed.