“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” ~ Colin Powell
Hey! Maybe you’ve landed your dream job – or maybe you’ve just joined for the sake of needing to earn a few bucks. If this is your first job, whatever that reason may be, it’s a new journey in your life – so congratulations! Are you scared or nervous? Don’t be. In time, it will all pass and you will settle. In the meanwhile, I’ve got some tips for you that may be some food for thought. 🙂 Do read on!
1. Low Expectations – Don’t Leap Just Yet!
I believe when you get your first job, you can be so excited to get into it that you’re also going to give it your all! Understand that it’s always better to be prepared for the worst though; this is the real world – and treasure the moments that are truly enjoyable; rare or not. There’s going to be the good and the bad days. The good days are when you’re absolutely productive and your whole team is thrilled with your work and you’re on top of your game – that and salary day perhaps. 😉 But can you think of that one day when absolutely nothing goes right? I can tell you, I’ve had more than several days when I’ve been late to work, forgotten something important, and things are just a craze! In moments like these, take a deep breath, and drink some water. Cool your head – and take the craze straight on – you can totally overcome the challenge. Make a list of things that need to be done, calls that need to be made, be organised and don’t panic.
2. Know You’re Bound to Make Mistakes
At every first job, no matter how detailed your job description is, and no matter how lengthy of a conversation you’ve had with your boss or HR Manager – there’s a very good possibility that there will be several (or more) things that you just won’t know how to do. So maybe you’ll make a mistake or two – and that’s okay. Don’t expect to get it right the first time – it’s not going to work out that way! When you make a mistake, be transparent about it – at the end of the day everyone is working for the company. You’ll make a mistake, and then you’ll know not to do it again; that’s how you learn.
3. Be Proactive
I can’t tell you the amount of times I heard this in college and in my Event Management course and paid little heed to the importance of this. If you aren’t sure of something and you don’t want to make a mistake, all you have to do is ask someone who does know. You’re thrust out into the real world in a completely new scenario – and so it’s important that whatever questions you do have you ask at the beginning itself. Don’t let your pride get in the way that you believe you can do everything. Be honest; state that you don’t know. As long as you didn’t lie in your CV about something – don’t ever do that, trust me, they will know – you can say that it’s not something you’re familiar with.
Honesty + proactivity = character plus! 🙂
4. Take Time for Yourself
With first jobs, as I’d mentioned earlier, you can be so excited that you want to impress your boss. However believe me, within time you’ll burn out – you just can’t do that on a consistent basis. Moreover, it’s important to be realistic, and set boundaries so that you have time for yourself. As much as you want to shine at your workplace, you’re allowed to say no, sometimes (I would hope). Not to the important things of course – but let’s say there’s something that you know can wait some time, let you supervisor know that you will get it done the following day, and go home and relax – it’s important for you to nurture and love yourself too so you can work hard the next day.
5. Be Accommodating
There’s going to be people you don’t like working with – trust me. If you’re a person like me who actually tries to get people to like you (because I don’t like being disliked) – you’re going to struggle with the people who either don’t like you or vice versa. Additionally, there’s going to be people who are just difficult to work with! That’s the way it is, and the sad reality is that there’s very little you can do about it. Unless the situation becomes a legal issue (harassment or abuse linked) – you’re going to have to grin and bear it. But I do believe as long as you work hard and stay true to yourself, you’ll make it through no matter what. Patience is a virtue you will learn. 🙂
6. Live For the Moments Outside of Work
You truly cherish those moments that you spend with your family or friends (or even alone), when you start working. If your job is an office one, then you’re going to be constantly in one area, surrounded by the same people – which means that time away from it are the moments to look forward to. Don’t give in to staying at home when you start your job because you’re exhausted. Of course there’ll be days when the going gets tough, but if you can even summon a little energy, extract it and do something that’s fun!
My snippet: I recently started playing badminton with a friend of mine, and I initially went with the expectation that after work it would be such a challenge for me. But given I was being active, and it was with a friend, it turned out to be so much fun that I didn’t want it to end! So live for moments like this – when you know there’s something to look forward to at the end of the day. 🙂 Also, I really want to get a pet. Thoughts?
7. Find Something You Can Enjoy
If you’re in a job that you have been waiting for, although there’s going to be people that you don’t like and the bad days, there’ll be that one thing that you will enjoy!
My snippet: For me personally, I am fortunate enough to be able to use my photography in my work and that’s the delightful aspect. So I remind myself that for whatever I find challenging or boring, there is an opposite side to that coin.
At the end of the day, be empathetic as well. I work in an office with individuals who have traveled far from home and their families, and you hear their stories and your heart breaks for them. If you’re in a situation where you’ve got your family and friends around you and a place to live, be grateful. I know some days aren’t easy and maybe you’re reading this and thinking that I don’t know what you’re going through – and you’re right, I have no idea. For whatever little you do have though, be thankful that at least you have that much.
8. Save Up for the Goals
What are your goals in life? I don’t mean career-wise for this – hobbies or otherwise. Is there that one place that you’ve always wanted to go to? Or that one class that you’ve been meaning to take? Or perhaps you want to buy a new item – but it’s expensive. Well, save up for it. Every month, put aside a little so that you can work towards this goal of yours. And then you can relish in the sweet satisfaction when you do attain it. Just keep working towards it – with patience, determination, and hard work.