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Helping you start your first job.

Congratulations on starting your first job! Weve put together this guide help you with some new job first-day basics, along with trickier things like tax and Super. Ready? Great, let’s get started.

Get ready for your first day.

 First impressions count, and to help you hit the ground running we’ve created a first-day checklist. Tick all these boxes on your first day and you’ll be off to a flying start.

Plan to arrive 10 minutes early.

That way you’ll look organised when you walk through the door. And if you miss a bus or a train, it won’t be an issue.

Prepare one or two questions.

You’ll probably get shown around on your first day, and it’s a good look to be eager to learn.

Be open to meeting people.

Make sure you’ve got enough money to grab lunch with anyone who’s eating – and if you’re in hospitality that could include sampling the food from your workplace.

Clean up your social media pages.

Your colleagues may want to add, follow or connect with you. Make sure there’s nothing embarrassing – work friends are different to school mates.

Don’t forget your paperwork.

You’ll need your Tax File Number & super details (if you have them, if not, we’ll explain below), bank details, photo ID, address, emergency contact’s details, and a pen and pad for any training or other notes you’d like to make.

Once you arrive.

Turn your phone off when you walk through the door. Pay special attention throughout the day. If it sounds important, write it down.

Learn the unspoken rules.

That includes things like when the bosses should and shouldn’t be approached, which managers give discounts easily, and which customers get special treatment.

Keep an eye out for a mentor.

Good managers like helping their staff learn. Keep an eye out for these mentors and get their advice on anything you’re unsure of. It’s a sure way to learn the right way of doing things, rather than guessing your way through the job.


Learn how to manage your finances.

You’re probably about to start making more money than you’ve ever made. That means it could be a great time to start saving.

To make this as easy as possible, you could make your savings automatic with a regular deposit. To do this, set up a transfer from the account you get paid from into a Savings account on your payday. Then sit back and watch those savings grow.

Superannuation explained.

Superannuation, sometimes called Super, is a fancy name for your retirement money. Since the 70s, every Australian employer has put some of their employees pay into their Super accounts. Today, it’s around 10%.

But not all Super funds are created equal. Some perform better than others.

Before you start working, you can choose your own Super fund or let your employer pick one for you. Either way, you’ll have to fill out a form. If you picked your own fund, bring your Super account details with you on your first day.

If your employer chooses your fund, you’ll get a letter or an email after you start working. Make note of this. If you like your Super account, you’ll want your next employer to use it too.


Tax.

 Sooner or later, every person employed in Australia pays tax. Taxes pay for public services like our police, hospitals and military. They help keep you safe, and our society working. Sure, they’re boring to do, but when you do them, you’re participating as an Australian citizen. Plus, you could get a refund, which means money back in your pocket.

To pay tax, you need a tax file number, also called a TFN. You can get one by visiting this page and following the instructions.

Every payday, some of your income may be deducted as tax – if your workplace doesn’t deduct tax, ask your boss why. You claim this back at the end of a financial year by lodging a tax return.

Earning your first tax return.

Every year, there’s a window to get your tax done. It begins with the ‘financial year’ on the 1st of July and runs until 31st of October, giving you three months to submit your tax return. If you don’t do it within this time, you may pay a penalty.

When the tax period begins, your employer will give you a PAYG slip. This details what you earned this year, and how much tax the government have withheld from you.

You can lodge your tax return online with myTax, which is accessed through myGov or, you can sit down with a tax agent.

You can also claim back money you spend on work stuff as ‘deductions’. To learn more about deductions, check out this site, or speak with your tax agent.

Set yourself up for success.

Now that you have spending money, you might find buy-now pay-later services and credit cards tempting. If you do use them be careful not to overextend yourself. These services come with extra fees if you miss payments.

Plus, general spending can get in the way of more important things. Maybe you want to study at uni, buy a car, or travel. These things take time, and little expenses add up. For example, a $3.50 coffee every day for a year adds up to $1,277.50. And that’s just one coffee, add snacks, store-bought lunches and it easily gets out of control.

Handling tricky situations.

Now you’re working, you owe it to yourself to know what to do if you’re ever have to handle a tricky situation in the workplace. Learn about your rights by visiting the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.


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From graduate programs to internships – we help you hunt down a career you can spend a third of your life in.

Things you should know

Any recommendation made in this communication is general in nature and does not take your objectives, financial situation or needs into account. Read the terms and conditions, including the Online Banking Terms and Conditions available at westpac.com.au before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.

The taxation position described is a general statement and should only be used as a guide.  It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current tax laws and their interpretation.