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The first job and the fear of the unknown


After university you want to:

  • Get a job
  • Leave home
  • Pay off student loans
  • Enroll for further studies

It is better to gain some work experience before pursuing further studies

  • Some are at crossroads – do I look for a job or do I start a small business
  • Do you make a huge graduation party or do you use that money to start a small business or to join an investment club

Reality check

  • Increased number of graduates
  • Employers need experience
  • Global economic crisis had led to slowdown on recruitment
  • Bureaucratic organizations and slow decision making – you can apply for a job in January and be called for an interview in December
  • Nepotism drives recruitment

Day one – what you should expect

  • Remember that the first six months at the job are very critical
  • Make the first and lasting impression
  • Identify a buddy – someone with whom you have much in common
  • Ask questions and learn
  • Listen
  • Let action speak louder than words
  • Remember you are on probation
  • Know your vision in three years
  • Praise your current employer
  • In case you decide to leave, keep the doors and options of return open


  • Over ambition and unrealism
  • Acting more knowledgeable than your trainer
  • Taking your employer for granted
  • Getting into a comfort zone
  • Joining cliques, movements
  • Taking part in office gossip, politics

Making the first impression

  • Performance and delivery
  • Dress code – know your company’s dress code
  • Cautious of body language
  • Observe basic hygiene – neatness
  • Avoiding social habits – drug habits, alcoholism
  • Be careful with friends and groups you keep
  • Remember employers lookout for 20 percent technical skills, 80 percent interpersonal and soft skills
  • Keeping time – be punctual
  • Be an active team player – always go an extra mile
  • Be unique and different
  • Gratitude for today
  • Love the company; feel like you belong to the company
  • Learn, learn and learn everyday
  • Be professional – separate personal life from work life
  • Stick to company values

Bad habits

  • You dread going to work
  • You work at 70 percent – you dodge 30 percent
  • You are so negative at work – nothing makes you happy
  • You begin referring the company’s customers to its competitors

Rachel Dumba is the Head of Human Resources, DFCU Group