3 Things You Should Know After Signing Your First Labor Contract

What I wish someone had told me

Chau Trieu
3 min readFeb 22, 2022


Photo by Leon Seibert on Unsplash

You were just offered a full-time job?

Congratulations! The upcoming months or years are going to be wonderful and you are going to grow a big deal.

I should also tell you that you are going to face lots of challenges from here on out. So here are 3 key things I wish someone had told me when I had the first job that I think will be helpful for you.

Set your boundaries as soon as possible

There are different types of employers.

Some respect your time and understand that you have a life outside of work. Others do not.

Some bosses will expect you to dedicate much more hours than what was agreed in the contract. They will contact you after work. They will not shy away from pushing you to open your laptop and finish a so-called urgent task. Of course, you will get paid. But soon enough, you will realize no amount of money can make up for your ruined evening or weekend.

You are better off setting your boundaries right from the beginning. That means no checking WhatsApp messages or emails after work, no opening Discord or Monday, and no answering phone calls from your colleagues.

Or just leave your phone somewhere inconvenient (e.g. in your desk drawer or an inside pocket in your backpack) when you are off work if you cannot stand seeing red circles on the home screen like me.

Don’t burn bridges even when things get ugly

No matter how bad things go down, do not burn bridges. You never know when you might come across your old colleagues or if you need to cite an immediate manager as your reference when applying for another job.

When it comes to professional networks, it’s wise to not leave people who used to work side by side 8 hours a day with you high and dry.

Burning bridges will do you more harm than good.

Be honest when you leave (or are asked to leave)



Chau Trieu

Sharing stories about (im)balancing work, life and self. https://thewritersbalance.beehiiv.com/