My First Job

High School Graduation, College Graduation, Working Adults, Interviewing, Career
Curated By
Nayely Gonzalez

Nayely Gonzalez is a doctoral student at Indiana University Bloomington studying Counseling Psychology. Nayely graduated with her Bachelor's degree from Ripon College in 2016, double majoring in Psychology and English. Her research interests include human sexuality, Latinx mental health, sexual assault prevention strategies among college students, and clinical practice with LGBTQ populations.

In This Guide:

Entering the workforce is widely considered a milestone toward becoming a true adult! It's exciting and nerve-wracking, and fosters a feeling of independence, both financial and emotional. Read the guide below to get a better understanding of what new workers might be feeling and how you can lend them your support as they take this monumental step.

They Might Be Thinking:

  • I feel independent. 
  • This is nerve-wracking and anxiety-provoking. 
  • I want to show them they made the right decision in hiring me. 
  • Oh, wow! I can’t wait for all the cool stuff I’m going to buy after I get my first paycheck!
  • This isn’t as fun as I thought it would be. I am disappointed. 
  • I can finally contribute to my family financially.
  • I am relieved I found a job.
  • It’s difficult balancing work and making time for school, family and friends. 
  • People are counting on me. It’s overwhelming. 
  • I want to make a good impression on my first day. 
  • I do not feel prepared to take on this job. I wish I had received better training. 
  • It sucks being the new person at work. Everyone seems like they’ve been friends forever. I feel lonely. 
  • What if I make a mistake and embarrass myself?
  • I wonder if others can tell this is my first job. 

Words That Might Be Encouraging:

  • Congratulations on your first job! You’ve worked hard to get here.
  • Please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you during this transition.
  • I can tell you’re excited just by hearing you speak. 
  • You will do great. I have faith in you. Remember, they hired you because they could see you are the right person for the job. 
  • I am happy for you! You deserve this. 
  • I think it’s great you’ve decided to take the necessary steps to get valuable work experience. I am sure you will learn a lot. 
  • I am very proud of your hard work. It shows you’re a responsible adult.
  • This is so exciting! I am proud of you. 
  • I heard you say it’s taking a little time to adjust to the new environment and responsibilities. I am sure it will get easier as you learn each day. I know you are capable of doing this. Let me know if you want to talk to me about what you’re going through. 
  • I heard you feel anxious/disappointed/scared/frustrated, etc. That has to be difficult. 
  • I know you are ready for this challenge, and I'm impressed by your initiative in pursuing this career. 

Words That Might Be Discouraging:

  • Don’t mess up!
  • Finally! I’m tired of you sitting on the couch all day. 
  • How much are you getting paid? 
  • Can you pass my resume along?
  • Your job sounds hard. 
  • I can’t believe someone actually hired you!
  • What are you going to buy me with your first paycheck?
  • Your job sounds easy. It’s nothing to get too excited about, if you ask me. 
  • I didn’t even know you were qualified to do that. 
  • It sucks that we won’t get to spend as much time together as we used to. 
  • I just got a promotion! [Goes on to talk about themselves.]
  • I guess this means you didn’t get the other job you interviewed for. That one was better. 
  • Maybe now you’ll learn about the value of money. 
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