I’ve had this blog for quite some time now, going from a university graduate to a full-fledged grown up. I think I have shared quite a few experiences on here – and how could I go from my first job to my next without blogging about it.
In an effort to redeem myself, I am doing this post on the things I learnt from my first job. As many would agree with me, your first job is a challenge. The whole 8-hours-a-day-5-days-a-week routine was definitely a shocker for my system – especially after university where it was pretty much eat, sleep, rave, repeat. I tackled my first job head on – experiencing and witnessing every single thing you hear of in the work place, from bullying and romance to incompetence and favoritism – I got to see it all.
Now that I am very happily settled in my new job in London, I will share the highs and lows of my first job, hoping to give hope to those who have similar experiences… but don’t get me wrong, I did indeed love my first job as well – it got me where I am today.
So here goes:
1. A positive attitude takes you a long way – no matter how small your accomplishment is, always keep a positive attitude because this is the one thing that will get you noticed to get further. I hate those people who make your achievements feel small and belittle you in a patronizing way… and there are many of those in the workplace – so chin up and smile – they hate that!
2. Work is like High School, except you get paid – I didn’t think it would be, after all, you read all this stuff about being professional and proper, but that’s in an idealistic world. There will be bullies and cliques at work, favorites and sidekicks – the only way to get through is to steer clear of office politics. The only difference between High School and work? Work lasts a lot longer.
3. No one is really ever on your side – You think that people want the best for you. You think that they are genuine. You might be in the wrong… Just like point 2, you have to remember that there are The Plastics in the working place – except you have to work with them and sometimes your progress depends on their mood.
4. You shouldn’t always say whatever is on your mind – One mistake I made in my first job was say whatever was on my mind. It’s just how I am, and while I am not saying you shouldn’t always speak your mind, it is important to filter. There are people who will hold grudges because you bruised their ego once 8 months ago – and that is why you need to be careful!
5. Patience is the name of the game – Not everything is going to fall into place all of a sudden. It’s really not all rainbows and butterflies in the workplace, and anyone who has ever worked will agree with me. The one thing you have to have is patience, in dealing with people, in progress and in performance.
6. Giving up on people is an option – If you are trying your best to be civil with your colleagues, and they are adamant on disliking you, you can indeed give up on them. It isn’t worth it to keep trying to please them and fluff their ego – let things go and move on, it’s how things work in the real world.
7. It gets better – In my first job I was naive and gullible, but at the end of the day, it was one of the experiences of my life that made me who I am. All I can say to people who struggle in their first job is that it really does get better – you just have to put your head down and work hard – that is how you will progress and succeed. Don’t let people get to you and influence you negatively – your career is in your hands so make sure you make things happen for yourself!