Most people who have studied to be an accountant, teacher, or medical assistant expect to begin their careers in a job where they can apply their degrees. However, when they start their career, they quickly realize that while the work is similar, the job itself is completely different.

In the working world, being a new employee means you are going to be expected to perform a number of jobs. You will likely be expected to:

  • Complete projects and tasks assigned to you. As a new employee, it’s important to complete projects and tasks assigned to you. Remember, you can’t slack off and expect to retain your employment. You may have been given a big project to complete, but make sure you complete it on time. Also, whenever you are given a new project or task to complete, make sure you fully understand what is required.
  • Provide good customer service. This is what you can expect if you become a working professional. Well, maybe not exactly. But, in general, you can expect it to be an exciting, challenging, and rewarding experience. When you step onto the playing field of the working world, the first order of business for many companies is to train you. This training plan varies widely, but it will generally involve learning the nuts and bolts of the business. This may include procedures, policies, and legal requirements.
  • Be on time. When interviewing for a job, it is important to be punctual. The interviewer will want to see that you are reliable. If your schedule is tight, try to arrive a half-hour early. That way, you will have time to get some work done, use the restroom, and get settled in. The interviewer will also be judging how you interact with others, so be friendly with other employees. If you are late, you may need to reschedule, and it may be hard to justify why it happened.
  • Be respectful. Show up on time and dress appropriately. In today’s competitive job market, landing an interview is usually a good start, but getting the job requires just as much, if not more preparation. As a new employee, your first day on the job can be stressful and nerve-racking, but by following a few simple guidelines, you’ll feel more prepared and confident when starting your work.
  • Be a team player. The workplace is filled with various types of personalities. Some individuals are too set in their ways, others are too distracted and can’t be bothered with details within their fields, and others are too shy to speak up. As a new employee, it’s important that you get along with your coworkers and teach them how to work with you as a team.
  • Be a good worker. Yes, that is really all there is to it. Be a good worker, and things will fall into place. Be a good worker, and every day is a great day. Be a good worker, and you will never have a bad day.
  • Be a good employee. Whether you’re a rapidly-growing startup or an established company with hundreds of employees, it’s important to know how to set the right tone from day one. Being a good employee starts in the office, not when you leave for school, college, or the workforce. Whether in an entry-level position or a leadership role, your behavior sets the tone for everyone who works around you. And, yes, that includes your direct reports.

The most important thing that any new employee should know is that no one knows everything. Most employers want their new employees to come to work every day and figure things out on their own. However, it’s usually with good intentions when they offer helpful pointers. The key is to take advantage of opportunities and learn as much as possible as quickly as possible. View your co-workers and managers as resources you can tap into when needed.