This post is aimed at all my contemporaries in their 1st jobs. I’ve now graduated to that phase where I will never have a 1st job. Whatever I do will be second and hopefully a third one too. While I have mixed feelings about this, I want to share my experience for you newbies because you have that sweet joy of YOUR OWN FIRST JOB. You’re finally there!
What do you do with this New Beginning of sorts? How do you Own It when the euphoria and surprise die down? How do ensure that you are on top of the First Job each day, every day? Read on to know The Answer..
If you’ve been doing it for some time, here’s a checklist, a reminder whatever you call it, to prove you’re owning it.
- Celebrate it
Yes, you read it right – celebrate it. Make sure you enjoy yourself into the wee hours of the morning, and then some. Drape yourself in the finest and paint the town RED!
Nothing boosts self-confidence more than applauding yourself for all the hard work of graduate school.
- Figure out what it means for your future
Many of us get placed into jobs from our colleges. Many of us want it because everyone else wants it. Is that the right reason to be in the job? No. It will never bring out the best in you.
When you’ve read that offer letter, make sure you’re signing it because that’s what YOU want out of the next few years of your life. Professional lives are demanding – physically and emotionally.
New joiners need to put in long hours to learn the ropes, and gain trust of their seniors. New joiners are not always welcome – personal experience. Don’t expect it to be like the first day of graduate school. It would be anything but.
- Brush-up before you join
If you have a break between the day you got your job, and your First Day, make sure you’ve brushed up your grad course. If you can do a certification, you’re a champ! That doesn’t mean it’s a must, but don’t skimp out on revision for sure.
If you have a short time, try to cover important topics. But revision is a must! Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you no longer need to study!
- Know where you’re going
Try to find out the culture of the company, its beliefs and values before you think of joining. The core values of the company should match your personality.
Working in an environment unsuitable to your personality won’t kill you, but it will stifle the crap out of you – personal experience.
Not only will it will hinder you from being your best but also may bring out shades of you that harm you – another personal experience.
- Make mistakes
Make mistakes and learn from them. If you try to be too careful, you won’t learn much. In fact, when it’s your time, you won’t be able to teach much.
The moment you bind yourself to so called perfection, you stop trying new things – in fear of breaking that record. Soon, you stagnate yourself and stop enjoying what you do. The more you things you try, the broader your experience grows.
- Learn, Learn, Learn
Make sure you’re putting in some extra time each day into honing your skills. Once your work begins, you will start to do fixed activities each day, and while activities may not increase, but work load surely will.
Only you can ensure that you have the necessary industry certifications and exposure in your area of interest and expertise. Join technical forums and be in touch with others in the field. You’re job will not teach you everything!
- Invest from the start
Granted that as beginners we don’t always have the best packages, but do not neglect forming thrifty habits. Always set aside some amount as “savings” and grow that percentage directly proportional to the increase in your package.
Find out about mutual funds offering SIPs and invest in at least one. They allow very small amounts as investments too. Find insurance policies that suit you.
- Plan your Trajectory of Growth
Organizations have their yearly appraisal programmes where ratings and promotions are awarded based on year round performance. Ratings are divided into bands and decide your next level and salary hike.
Many people have the habit of gearing up around appraisals. While this may work, if at all, for quarterly or six-monthly cycles, it surely doesn’t do much for the final round. It sure as hell doesn’t grow you into a skilled resource. This is the surest way to make yourself stand still.
Instead of having one big ass, achievable-in-long-term goal, have milestones. This will keep you on your feet and add excitement too. It will teach you new ways to do things. Appraisals contribute to salaries, but not to your market value.
- Document Everything
Whenever you learn something new implement it, and then document it. Not only will you be able to refer it in future, but also learn the delicate skills of documentation.
- Quit when it stops being fun
The day you wake up and frown at the thought of your job, quit. Don’t force yourself to drudge up hours – you’re not benefitting anyone.
Find the next thing that interests you and begin again!
Please use the Comments section to let me know how you benefited from my post! Let’s discuss!