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4 Things I’ve Learnt at my First ‘Adult’ Job

By Team TOK

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Well here you are. You’re not a kid anymore and it’s up to you now. Your first ‘proper’ job will shape and challenge you in more ways than you think. It’s one of the most daunting yet exciting experiences you’ll go through and I can guarantee the things that you learn about the world of work and about yourself will amaze you. Here are 4 that I’ve learnt at my first ‘adult’ job:

Being patient is key 

 

You’re not going to be amazing at your job on your first day or the first week or even the first month. It can take years to master something. Some people’s natural reaction is to beat themselves up when something goes wrong, particularly at work. We want to impress our colleagues and boss. The same goes for most things in life: driving, exams or riding a bike. Imagine if you put yourself under the same amount of pressure on your first day driving your car as you do on your first day at your new job. Chaos! We all know there’s a process to it, you have to take lessons and several tests to be good enough to get out on the road. The same goes for work, you need to allow time to train and develop before you get to the stage where you’re on your own, being independent and bossing it! Be patient, it’s only fair.

 

Embrace the storms

 

If you’ve already heard about the buffalo story then you’ll know what I’m talking about. But if you haven’t, here’s the short version: There’s a storm coming, there’s a group of cows and a group of buffalo’s. Cows sense the storm coming and decide to run away from it but cows aren’t very fast, so inevitably the storm catches up with them and they end up running alongside the storm until it eventually passes. The buffalo on the other hand charge directly into the storm. The cows therefore end up prolonging the frustration by trying to run away, whereas the buffalo endure the frustration for a short amount of time but are far better off in the long run. So, when faced with a challenge at work take it head on, as uncomfortable as it might be for that moment: it will be over quicker, and you’ll be stronger at the other end. Be the buffalo.

 

Ask, ask and ask again

 

Utilise the people around you, they are your best source of knowledge. Ask someone if you feel stuck or even if you’re just curious. This sounds simple but for some people (me), it’s actually one of the hardest things to do when starting a new job. I felt like I would be bothering people if I asked questions, I felt stupid if I asked questions, I felt like I needed to figure it out on my own. I couldn’t be more wrong. Asking for help when you’re stuck is actually a sign of strength. Don’t suddenly run to your manager/boss every time there’s a little issue but if you feel stuck or confused, just ask.

 

Having good friends at work is important

 

Be kind and make effort with your colleagues, they could become friends for life. You see these people day in and day out and you’ll have to overcome some tough obstacles along the way, so you may as well make the effort. Your job will take up a huge proportion of your life, you need people there to lean on and to have fun with. Make them a coffee, ask them how they’re doing, write them a funny note and leave it on their desk. It will make your time at work so much more enjoyable when you do something you love with people that you love.

 

Enjoy it, cherish it, and learn from it. You’ll never have your first ‘adult’ job again.

 

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