The lessons you’ll learn at your first job are more important than you think. Your first job not only offers training in a specific field, it teaches valuable life and financial lessons that you'll carry through adulthood. Whether your first job is in high school, college or once you graduate from a university, here are seven lessons you’ll learn at your first job.
1. How to Be Punctual
Timeliness is one of several lessons you'll learn at your first job. Although you were required to arrive to school on time, punctuality at work is a different ball game. While your teacher might let a tardiness slide, your employers will require that you're ready to work at a specific time. And if you're not, frequent lateness can jeopardize your position. Also, you'll need to be punctual with regard to deadlines and due dates.
2. How to Get along with Others
In high school or college, you might be able to avoid people you don't like. But in the workplace, you have to work with all types of people. And unfortunately, if your personality clashes with another person, you’ll have to rise above differences and be a team player. You might have a toxic relationship with your boss, coworkers and clients
3. The Value of a Dollar
When you're living off mom and dad, you might not fully understand or appreciate the value of a dollar. But when you're working long hours to earn very little money, everything gets put into perspective. As a matter of fact, your parents may recommend that you get a part-time job if you're constantly asking for money for non-essentials, such as shopping and entertainment.
4. The Reality of Taxes
Everyone knows about federal and state income taxes, but you may not realize how much the government takes from your paycheck. Therefore, if you're getting paid $10 an hour and you work 20 hours a week, you won't receive a $200 paycheck. And if you're working a full-time job after college, your check might be far less if you're contributing to a retirement account or receiving insurance through your employer.
5. The Importance of Saving up
After getting your first job after college, you may feel that you're on top of the world. But the sad reality is that layoffs leave many skilled workers unemployed. Therefore, you need to prepare for the possibility of losing your job. There are several ways to achieve this. First, always save 10% of your paycheck. Also, live below your means. This creates disposable income, allowing you to build your savings faster.
6. Understanding Living Costs
After getting your first job after high school or college, you might plan to move out of your parents home. But if you're only working part time or earn an entry-level salary, you may quickly realize that you can't afford to live on your own. Before making a hasty decision, take a long hard look at your income and determine what you can afford. It might be safer to stay home a little longer and wait until your income increases.
7. Spend Your Money on Things That Really Count
Everyone dreams of earning a big salary after college, but this doesn't always happen. Therefore, many young adults learn the importance of prioritizing spending after getting their first job. The truth is, you can't always have it all. And sometimes, you have to be responsible and choose between paying your rent on time or splurging on items you don't need.
Getting a first job is an exciting time, and it's the opportunity to exert your independence. But living on your own and supporting yourself isn't as glamorous as it may appear on TV. You have to be smart with your money and make wise decisions. What are other lessons young adults learn at their first job?