It’s about to be summer, which means a lot of you may be graduating and looking for your first real job. Or maybe you’re still in university and trying to get a head start in the world. Either way, we here at Propergaanda thought it would be a good idea to share the things we wish we knew before we took our first real job.
The education system doesn’t really prepare you from how awful working and being an adult really is. University is literally adulthood on easy mode, and then you’re asked to play the game on ultra-hard. That’ kind of how jumping into the marketplace is like. There are 100 candidates just like you, looking for the same job. When you get the job, the hard part just begins. There are no timings, no breaks and most importantly, no excuses. You cannot just take a sick day, so not so this assignment as well because it won’t affect your GPA. Everything matter, every day is like you have an exam and you just have to do it. It doesn’t really matter what career you’re in, entry level job drain the life out of you.
Work may not be your whole life, but it will be a really big part of it. Given that you will be spending most of your time there, make sure it’s something you enjoy. Or at least it useful. When I entered the marketplace looking for a job, after some time has passed, I started to get a little anxious that I couldn’t find a decent job. Eventually, I took the first job offer I got. And it’s wasn’t bad. It was close to my house, the hours were manageable and the people were pretty nice. But the work itself was so boring. I had to write about packaging my whole day. After a few months, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I started to look for work and landed up at Propergaanda. The work hours were more, the work more stressful, but I was enjoying the work more. It wasn’t killing my soul, just my body. So make a list of what you really want, what you want right now from work, and prioritize them.
We are all human, and as a result, are good and bad at things. It might be a generic question to ask at an interview, and the truth is you should tell only semi-truths then, knowing your strengths and weakness can really help you moving forward. Knowing what you’re good and bad at helps you stay away from taking up work you know you cannot perform well at. Or you know then that you may need to take extra time said work. Furthermore, knowing your strengths helps you know your value to the company. If you know what you’re bringing to the table, you know your purpose. That helps makes work related decisions much easier, what work you need to do for your employers and most importantly, helps you with salary negotiations. If you know how much value you bring, you can always ask for it. A lot of your salary and work truly depends more on how well you speak, or even if you speak up at all. Be confident in yourself.
No matter how assertive you are, you will be working. There will be days that are hard. Days you want to quit-do not make any rash decisions. Just bear through the rough parts, especially if this is the work you want to be doing. Remember than when you initially job the workforce, they usually dump a lot of work to see how much you can handle. Handle as much as you can. Figure out a way for your quick and effective stress releases. Here at Propergaanda, it’s a random joke that usually gives everyone a good laugh, which is surprisingly refreshing. But you can do your own individual habits too. A friend of mine finds a corner and lists to death metal in her headphones for 10 minutes. Another friend plays with his figit spinner, the only person still using one. Just find a way to handle the stress. But eventually…
I wish someone told me that when I took my first job. When you join a workplace, most people try their best to find a way to be useful. In the process, they will do as much work as possible. Don’t! I’m not saying do not be proactive or show initiative, but learn to say no to your workplace. They will continue to ask you, and before your work starts to reduce in quality, say you cannot do this much. Say you’re off the clock. This is work, not your whole life. You mental health is important. Learn to say no, they will appreciate you in the long run for it. Especially if you keep your quality up high.
The first thought I had when I joined this workforce was, “Is the going to be how the rest of my life functions?” And the answer is no. Some people find their dream job right off the bat. And good for them. But most people, especially in our generation graduate with only an inclination of what they want. If you’ve taken a job but realize it’s not for you, learn as much as you can while you look for something more suited for you. Or even if you’ve got your “dream job”, that doesn’t mean the work will be like this forever. The more you work, the more say you eventually start to get. That freedom to make decisions at work will change your work all together. Overtime, you will not be the fresh graduate/grunt of the team. You will be the one’s giving the grunt work.