There is a first for everything, the first time you stepped in class, the first time you learnt how to walk, talk, the list goes on and on. It goes without saying that there is a first time for everything, work is no different. For some, they get introduced to the work environment even before they come of age while for others, this comes a little later. However, there is a different feeling that comes with starting your fist paying job when you have a career you want to build or a goal in mind. There is a determination that comes with it, a certain mindset that you grow or cultivate, nevertheless, there are certain things you need to come to terms with before you start that job.
Experience vs. Fun; it is a rare fit to find a job that will offer you important experience to grow your career and still be fun for you to do. So beware, work is meaningful activity with a bonus of experience and money at the end of every month or so. If you find yourself at a place of work which is not fun, don’t fret, others have been there and are still there, stick it out, be patient, gain the experience, grow in your ethic and find out which path you want to take if an opportunity came your way. However, if you find yourself with a fun experience without much work to do, make your decision wisely too. Would you rather stay at a place where you do nothing the whole day but jest and go back home? Whatever the case may be, remember why you are working, for the fun of it, for the experience of it, for the benefits of it or to pass time?
Fitting in vs. Standing out; walking into a new place of work can be challenging, you want to fit in yet you want to stand out somehow. Do not be too quick to stand out, instead, first fit in, get to know which kind of culture the company has, how its employees are, how your supervisor or manager likes to get the work done, get to know what you are not allowed to do and so on and so forth. Give yourself time to adjust, be consistent in your work delivery and sooner or later, an opportunity to stand out will come to your door without seeking it out at the outset which might bring enemies, you don’t want them, especially just after starting your job.
Promotion vs. Process; there is no CEO who started out as a CEO, they started out from somewhere, maybe as a cleaner or an assistant. Therefore trust the process, work hard, gain experience, gain the confidence to carry more things on your shoulders, gain more skills, gain, gain, gain. Do not expect a promotion after a year of work, you might have to work harder and longer than that, unless of course the job comes with the need to promote you sooner than you expect. Remember, the higher you climb, the harder the fall, just because it is your dream to be a manager doesn’t mean that you deserve to be one. Work hard at deserving the position so that you can attain it. Once again, trust the process, take one position at a time.
Hard Work vs. Smart Work; many people will tell you to work hard because it pays at the end of the day. If it were so, then people who carry heavy weights in shops would be the richest people on earth but guess what, they are not. Working hard without any brains and direction is equivalent to a chicken that runs around the courtyard without its head! Be smart in your work, give yourself goals and take time to achieve them, assess your progress and know how to go about the job the right way. As a fresher to the job market, circumnavigate your work place, get to know who to trust, who not to trust, know how to work and how not to, know when to walk out or stay. Thing is, this will not happen the very first time you enter your new work place, you need to work hard at improving yourself day in, day out such that you can know when to do the things you need to do.
Attitude; the right attitude is important but what is the right attitude anyway? A happy one, try as much as possible to be a happy, an easy to approach kind of person; this is an important attitude to have at all times of the day because no one wants to work with a grumpy person. What you want is to be a team player, the one whom people can easily approach, try to wear that smile.
Lastly, it will not always be a happy day for you at work, once in a while, it will be sad, other times, it will be annoying, and other times, it will be just bad. You should be ready to face these moments and face them gracefully.