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Office Rules: The Ultimate Guide for your First Office Role

18/08/2017 By Lily Senior

You’ve just won your first job, in an actual office surrounded by real adults, a desk and maybe even… a coffee machine. You obviously aced your interview (well done!), but we appreciate that as your first day approaches, the reality begins to set in. Well, wipe the sweat from your brow, breathe and check out some of these tips for handling your first job like a pro.

1. Go the extra mile

Listen to what your colleagues or bosses ask for, do the best you can, then see if you can begin surpassing their expectations or anticipating what they might need. Offer to help wherever you can. Work late sometimes. And don’t be too proud to make tea or grab coffees. These kinds of interactions are a great way to form bonds. Make a name for yourself as someone who can be relied on. Be a yes person.  

2. Don’t be late (obviously)

There’s no easier way to make a bad impression. Wake up an hour earlier if necessary (something highly successful people do anyway, check this out).

3. While we’re on the subject… be early

Especially in those first days and weeks while you’re getting your head around your role, go in early. Not only is there evidence we do our best work in the morning, but it’ll give you a head start on your day and help you feel mentally calm and prepared. 

4. Ask questions and take notes

Don’t sit there looking around nervously/whistling when you don’t know how to login/nobody’s given you any work to do. Ask questions politely but confidently and write down the answer. Try to avoid asking the same question twice and take notes. Your colleagues will be your greatest teachers. Watch, listen, learn. 

5. Be a good office citizen and embrace the culture

Smile, say good morning, share your Hobnob stash, all these things are not just nice things to do, but valuable bonding moments that will make you stand out. Be part of that gang that leaps up when someone sends round a ‘Chocolate muffins in accounts!’ email. Say yes to lunches or drinks even if you’d rather be watching Netflix in your PJs. It’s all about connections, and everyone loves a team player.  

6. Be brave and learn from failures

 Speak up at brainstorming meetings, volunteer for projects. Yes, sometimes your ideas will be turned down or you won’t be picked, but don’t go skulking off blinking back tears. Ask for constructive criticism. Everybody fails sometimes. It’s how you learn. 

7. Keep a to-do list - and keep on it

Write down everything you’re asked to do/need to do, and make sure you know what’s a priority. If you’re not a fan of pen and paper, try an app like Wunderlist. 

8. Have a thick skin and avoid gossip

 If your boss/desk buddy/the office cat snaps at you, they’re probably just having a bad day. Don’t start wracking your brain about what you’ve done wrong. Or tell anyone else how mean they are. 

9. Be a tech pro

Nothing will get you an army of fans at work like being able to unfreeze screens, unlock keychain passwords, figure out where to find a lost document. If you’re not good at tech, get good. 


Getting your first job is a rite of passage. Seize every opportunity and enjoy the ride. Good luck! 


At La Fosse, we know all about finding you the job of your dreams. If you’re not quite there yet, call us. We’ll give you information on our graduate openings and guide you through how to join our incredible team and launch a career in recruitment.

Contact Lily or 020 7932 2083

Find out what it's like to work at La Fosse

Tagged In: Recruitment
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