Before I start working I was imagining myself earning good money, growing fast inside a company and making many friends.I even imagined that I might become friends with my manager or boss at some point. I ‘ve heard those stories from several friends. Why not me?
My job experience does not mean that this is the case for everyone and I do not want to discourage people in their new jobs or turn off the confidence and excitement they already feel. To be employed is a blessing, especially in my country (guess what, I am greek!).
I studied Computer Science, and in 2014, I started searching for a job opportunity in the IT field. By that time, I did not care if it was a developer position, a database engineer, or anything IT related in general. All I wanted was new job experiences, knowledge, and new friends. Finally, I got a DevOps engineer position, and I stayed at this job for about a year. The reason I left was mainly the income, the financial crisis was (and still is) very bad, and a lot of greek companies could not (and still can’t) pay their employees. Two weeks later I got a new job, as a software engineer and then I noticed, even if both jobs were in the same field, I was experiencing different situations, job demands and I addressed different issues in the work environment.
Below I am going to list the lessons I have learned in my first two jobs.
Do NOT overshare your personal life and problems with co-workers
I used to be an open book to everyone either someone is a friend or someone I just met. I strongly believe that we should not feel shy to share a weakness we have and that someone should accept us for who we really are. What I found out in the end was that some colleagues considered me inappropriate for the job, and that was my fault. I used to share my weaknesses in almost every conversation I had. I felt like I was the only one who had some difficulties on the job. Everyone had some workplace difficulties, but no one shared! Oversharing can turn against you. Talk to your manager and ask for help from colleagues if you need it, but do not “advertise” your weaknesses. Don’t be an idiot like I did.
Should inform your team and managers if you are stuck on something
People should ask for help when they are stuck on something and can’t move on a task. If someone hides that in order to not look bad in the rest of a team or managers, may result in team failure to reach a deadline.
You will not be friends with everyone
In the beginning, I thought that I would make a lot of best friends. We would share eight (or more) hours the day together, sharing the same worries and happiness about the job. We would have something that connects us. And it really does. In your work, you can create strong friendships that can last a lifetime. But we are people. Not everyone will like you. Not everyone will be happy to help you. Each of us has different personalities and can’t be friends with everybody. You will have some very good and some bad collaborations in your workplace. That happens to everyone I know! Being professional and friendly without oversharing is the key to happiness in your workplace.
Some days will be tiring and you will have hard work. Some days.
When I was applying for new jobs, I never thought of really hard work. I hearing that people are tired from their work, but I did not imagine that fatigue would be that intense. Around the second month of my first job, I experienced strong fatigue and stress. I had to stay overtime and I went home just to sleep, to live the same tiring conditions the next day. The good part? Not all days are the same. They will come days that you will be more relaxed.
There is always something to learn
Even if you think you know everything, even if you really do, be humble. There are people inside any workplace who have a lot more experience than us. We should learn from them. Every job has different demands, different policies, different people, and bosses. In my first job I met people who “knew everything”. Those are the employees who want to grow very fast inside a company and will do anything to achieve that. Some of them even do that by hiding other employee’s skills and abilities. I always say good things about my co-workers and admire their skills.
You should keep a log of your daily tasks and your progress
In my first job I had a colleague who was very good at the job, and was my work-buddy. I still remember he told me to keep an agenda to write my tasks, meetings, notes and keep track of my progress. I didn’t do it! I used Outlook Mail for all those things. Outlook Mail reminds you the meetings and tasks, but still it is not the same when you hand-write them. All of the successful people I know always carry a work agenda at meetings. Nowadays I am an agenda addict in my personal and work life, and all I can say is that it helped me a lot to stay organized and productive. You lose nothing to try!
Hard work and job engagement pays off
I will admit that in my first two jobs, I didn’t try as much as I should. I was combining studies with a full-time job, thus, it was difficult for me to do my best in my work. My priority was my degree. The lesson I learned was that if you do not try enough and work hard, you won’t succeed. When I talk about
The lesson I learned was that if you do not try enough and work hard, you won’t succeed. When I talk about success I do not mean a lot of money, and the position of a manager, but I am talking about recognition in the company you work for. Recognition not only takes time, but a lot of effort. Most of the people who have managerial job positions, did a lot to be there. That’s the truth.
All the above are lessons that I learned in my two first jobs. It takes some time to be a professional. You have to learn first 🙂
Think positive and try a lot in your job. You will be rewarded. And please, never make my mistakes…