Jun 1, 2012

Surviving the first few years of work – some advice from my facebook friends

I asked a bunch of friends for their advice to any starting in the world of work. Here are over 20 bits of great advice.
  1. Be realistic about your expected salary in this economic climate!
  2. If you’re doing a professional job expect your first few years to be tough. Growing up is hard! Trust God and man up!
  3. Don’t think of your first job as an extension of your degree; act maturely, work hard and earn respect for what you do
  4. Keep in close contact with your friends and even closer with your God.
  5. See your work as part of your service of Him, rather than a way of paying the bills so you can serve elsewhere.
  6. Read ‘Thank God it’s Monday by Mark Greene which is awesomely inspiring.
  7. Be prepared that you might find work hard, get challenged and feel rubbish! Your identity and worth more than ever needs to be rooted in Jesus and his grace.
  8. You don’t need to know what their plan is for the rest of life, or even their plan for next month; they do need to remember that Jesus is our shepherd and we are His.
  9. Go to sleep before midnight during the week. Trying to catch up with a cat nap in the loo’s at lunch, will not cut the mustard in the world of employment. Not that I ever did that…
  10. Pace yourself: you have to get up early, every day, for more than just a term. It is a shock to the system when you don’t have a month off every 13 weeks.
  11. Get into good habits & don’t despair: it does get easier to do.
  12. Read Maximum Joy by Julian hardyman
  13. Meditate regularly on Psalm 86:11 – ‘Unite my heart to fear your name.’ By guarding your heart closely in the ocean of secular culture you will be able to stand.
  14. Find a faithful church, plan to go, and initiate serving!
  15. Be regularly accountable in the deep places with a believer you trust
  16. Set up standing orders for giving so as not to be mastered by money

  17. Worship through work as if for God and not for men
  18. Ask your church if they can help you find a mentor. Someone 5 to 10 years older in the same kind of work
  19. Remember the fall and don’t be idealistic about work. The workplace is a still filled with sinners, just like you.
  20. Work out on what moral issues you will need to make a stand. Ask you mentor for advice on these areas.
  21. Be quick to tell others that you are a Christian but do it in a non-freaky way.

The single best book that I’ve come across for starting work is Working without wilting.



  • Neil, great article. I’ve seen lots of people struggle with this. I’d love to see a similar article for those doing church apprenticeships.

    • What a good idea. I’ll see what I can do!

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