Starting Your First Job? Here Are Some Life Lessons
The transition from college to your first job is never easy. Your first job is really the first time you encounter the “real world”. People and situations will not always be to your liking, and there will be a lot of new things that you will have to get used to.
Here are some life lessons that might make the experience easier for you.
This may not be your dream job
The job that you start your career with is rarely the ideal one. It is disappointing but true that while you may have dreamt of a great and promising career, what you are doing here, in this job, is nowhere near that. However, there is an upside. The skills that you will learn here will stand you in good stead as you move along in your career. And, of course, there is nothing like a “final destination”. This is only your first job. You will grow to ultimately be where you want to be. This journey is an important one.
There is no one looking out for you
Unlike your teachers from school and college, no one in your workplace (certainly not your boss!) will care for you in the same way. For your bosses, you are likely to be just another employee. It would be a mistake to expect that you will be treated specially or with care. Missing a deadline, skipping a meeting, and not showing up at work are inexcusable. Of course, everyone has bad days when they don’t feel like going to work. But such excuses are rarely acceptable at the workplace. Once you start working, you are by yourself.
You cannot simply expect a raise
Just because you have taken on a loan that is difficult for you to pay off, you cannot ask your boss for a raise. Unfortunately, the workplace is rarely going to give you what you need. You will have to make do with what you have. Therefore, make sure that you don’t take on great financial responsibilities before you are sure of your situation.
You are replaceable
Pretty much everyone in the company is dispensable. It is one of the harsh truths that you will have to accept. If you decide to quit the job or happen to get fired, someone else will come in right after to do the same things that you’re doing. Therefore, work on building your skills while you’re on the job. The more you learn, the better your career opportunities will be.
Your ‘lack of experience’ is actually an advantage
Because this is your first job, you come in with a fresh perspective. Your way of looking at things can allow the company to re-think its processes in the way that it hasn’t before. Therefore, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the company’s processes, functioning, your role, etc. until you’re satisfied with the answers. But, at all costs, do not stop doing the work that you’re being paid for.
There are many ways to do the same thing
You may have been trained or taught to perform tasks in a particular way. Being a newcomer, you are likely to stick to the ways you know best. However, to continue to learn and grow, you must be open to trying out different ways to solve the same problems. Being inventive and creative to perform your tasks is always a good thing.
Don’t let anyone define your worth
Colleagues, bosses and employers will all- at some point or the other- try to define your worth by expecting you to be happy with your salary, your work hours and your role. But if those are not the things that you’re happy with, then you must continue to work towards your dream career. This does not mean that you quit your job or have unrealistic expectations, because your dream job won’t come along overnight. Instead, use every opportunity to learn and grow, so that you can finally build the career of your dreams.
Content adapted from: http://www.youtern.com/thesavvyintern/index.php/2015/06/23/10-life-lessons-for-the-recently-employed/
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