Top tips to succeed in your first corporate job

6 min read | Josie Davies | Article | Career development Upskilling

first corporate job

Congratulations! After making your way through education and the lengthy process of interviews and decision-making, you have successfully entered into the world of work.

Your first position in the corporate world could be a key step towards the career you have dreamed of for years, or it may be a small stepping-stone for your path yet to be decided. In any case, it’s a way for you to develop your professional core skills, make valuable connections and, most importantly, find out what interests you most.

Here are some tips for starting a new job. 

Stay organised:

Good organisational hygiene (yep, that’s a phrase!) saves tonnes of time when it comes to finding stuff. It sounds basic but it’s one of the most effective ways to be efficient, meaning you’ll have more time to work on important projects. Organisation will also improve the flow of communication between you and your team, making everyone more productive. These are some suggestions to stay organised:

Make a tracker – Note down the key areas of work that you’ve completed, such as working on a team project to deadline and the feedback you received. A simple spreadsheet with the date the work was completed, what the work was, and what the feedback was will be super helpful when it comes to check-ins with your managers, the end of your probation period, or opportunities for promotion. Keeping track of your progress will enable you to regularly review your performance, to what you are doing well and areas of development.

File your emails efficiently – Creating specific folders to organise your emails can help you stay focused, productive and in control. You’re likely to get an abundance of emails each day so categorising them – perhaps by project or person – can help you find what you need. This can also help you prioritise what’s important and will increase your overall productivity in the workplace

Be visible:

Being visible within your organisation plays a vital part to success. When your colleagues and key people in the organisation know who you are and what you do, you’ll find more opportunities for collaboration (which bolsters trust), and it could increase your chances of being considered for promotions. Your presence and contributions will be noticed, meaning you’ll create strong connections where you can showcase your work. These two simple ways of increasing visibility have worked for others:

Get to know your coworkers – While spending time with your colleagues during work hours is important, there’s great value in getting to know them outside the office. Spend time with them at lunch or during breaks and consider joining after-work social events to establish more personal connections. These interactions can lead to stronger working relationships and a better work environment.

Show initiative – An individual who shows initiative will quickly become recognised as a valuable team member, this is because it demonstrates that you’re confident and willing to work hard to find solutions. Organisations today look for employees who are proactive, so take advantage of every opportunity you are presented with, as this approach will set you apart from others.

Have confidence and trust in yourself:

Once you learn to trust in your own abilities, you’ll gradually become more confident over time. This self-assurance will encourage others to believe in your abilities, building a supportive work environment where you can succeed in performing. Here are suggestions to build inner confidence:

Ask questions – When starting your first job, be curious and open to learning; don’t be afraid to ask questions. The company hired you because they want you to succeed, so don’t hesitate to seek answers and deepen your understanding of the business. By asking questions, you can also understand your manager’s expectations and better align with their goals. A tip – if your boss is clearly managing a heavy workload, try using the ‘3 Bs’ approach: Brain – do I already have this information? Or can I search for it online? Buddy – will one of my peers be able to help me out? Boss – finally, ask your boss, but do let them know the ways you tried to come to an answer first.

Don’t compare yourself – Experiencing impostor syndrome when beginning a new role is natural but make sure to recognise that you’ve rightfully earned your place in the company. Your knowledge and skills are why they hired you. Also, be mindful of comparing yourself to coworkers where it adversely impacts how you perceive yourself, whether they’ve been there longer, or joined alongside you, everyone learns at their own pace, so trust in yourself that you can reach that level too.

Be positive when receiving feedback – Try not to get disheartened when you get constructive feedback on your work; your colleagues and managers have more experience and likely to understand what works best for the company’s goals – their feedback is intended to help you. Take note of the amends and remember them for next time. This could help to improve your work. Understanding the business’s expectations and desired outcomes will take time so view the constructive criticism as an opportunity for personal and professional development.

Find more career advice and tips, check out /careers/advice


About this author

Josie Davies - Senior Career Transition Consultant at Hays

Josie joined Hays Career Transition Services in March 2020. She is an experienced career consultant/ coach with over 10 years of experience supporting people from a wide variety of sectors ranging from charities, government to commercial and banking. She has consistently received recognition for her solution-focused and supportive approach in assisting individuals to successfully manage career transitions. Josie trained in coaching from ICF accredited training provider, Coaching Development Ltd and is a member of the Association for Coaching.

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