The Three Lessons From My First Job Out of School That Still Apply Today

light house York, Maine

First jobs stick with us. It is a novel experience, so that first year tends to stand out.

My first year of work was spent living out of my car. I traveled to see customers, who happened to be college students, but that is a story for another day…needless to say, I failed a lot and learned as I went. Here are the main lessons that stick with me.

Top 3 lessons from my first job

  1. Pick up the phone and start dialing! Whenever I had a problem that I would be explaining to my boss he would inevitably ask, “did you pick up the phone and talk to them“? I’ve been consistently surprised that to this day, a back and forth email chain can be clarified with a two minute phone call. It’s also easier to build rapport over the phone…
  2. People are more likely to do favors for people they like. They had a motto “relationships get results”. I like to say relationships grease the wheels for results. Either way, having a better relationship with a peer, customer, superior, direct report, or cross functional partner will improve the work you can accomplish.
  3. CADIF. Commitment, attention to detail, immediate follow-up. Of those three, I find immediate follow-up to be the one that is less intuitive. If action items from a phone call or meeting aren’t summarized in writing and sent after, the chances of them happening diminish greatly.

Those are some of my top lessons from my first job, leave in the comments one of yours!

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