4 Lies About Work You Believed Before Entering The Working World
Life sometimes throws curveballs at us. That’s the harsh reality that we all need to face. Many of us are always at the receiving end of bad stuff, and we at times ponder how to go about the situation.
If you’re about to start work, a fresh graduate looking for a job, listen up… because here’s some real talk about the real world–work. Having had zero working experience in my life, I had countless questions lingering in my mind–How would I fit in? What do I need to know to do the job? Am I capable enough to pay attention and deliver? That coupled with the growing fear that I needed to embark on the path of no return that is adulting made me want to be prepared. Every. Way. That. I. Could.
My preparedness led me to seek advice from my older cousins along with reading articles to grow myself. Now, eleven months into work… I’d say what I learnt to anticipate were LIES.
Get your pens and paper ready, because I’ll be sharing some lessons about work. You’ll get to know the more common advice shared, but also learn how to view the advice shared from a different view – which would better prepare you.
Lie #1: You need to give your all
This belief has been so deeply embedded in our virtue of work, that it has seemingly become a guide. We hear it from everyone around us like our lecturers, parents and peers. We believed that giving our all is showing our relentless dedication to our company and seniors. What I always hear before is that I would need to be willing to give 100% and show my selflessness.
My mistake was coming into work with the mindset of being the ‘Yes’ person. And that has cost me personally where I faced situations of being mentally and physically exhausted as all I wanted to do was to learn and prove myself. Now with better mental clarity, I have learnt that there is a difference between giving my all and giving my best. Work is about giving our best, but still caring for myself. When we find the balance on this and realise that we should invest in ourselves more, we’d actually be able to give our best at work without compromising ourselves. In a way, we are able to nurture our minds and in return, be able to excel at work.
Lie #2: You must always listen to your seniors
The idea that we need to always blindly follow what is told by our seniors is outdated. This mindset would have been contributed by our upbringing, leading us to carry this belief to our working space. As a young intern, I believed that I needed to listen to the instructions of my seniors, at all times. The conversation and dynamic of the relationship when this happens would not allow us to grow, as it would seem that we are simply following directions given without fully learning.
Now, my advice is that you need to always respect your seniors, for obvious reasons. But truth be told, you need to always make it a point to be an individual of your own by having a point-of-view. With this, you would also need to learn and understand the delivery of your opinions. Having your own point-of-view also would actually allow you to bring your thoughts and ideas to your seniors in a more conversational way that would help cement discussions.
Lie #3: You have to find a clique and fit in
But now that I’ve spent almost a year at work, I learnt that having a clique when we are older is not worth it, especially in the working environment. Being an adult allows us to meet different people with different strengths, that is why we need to learn to be friends with all. By doing this, we’d be able to learn the ropes of working life and understand more the company we are in.
Lie #4: You need experience more than skills
Let’s face it… We’ve all been told one too many times that we need experience before applying for a job. It’s almost baffling to know that starting a job experience requires experience. Entering and navigating the working world requires skills to interact with your colleagues, to manage clients and to critically think the best ways to deliver a task.
And with the equipped skills and time spent honing them, we get to experience the intricacies of the working world. In that sense, we can’t choose one value more than the other as both are needed. With time, the two values are what we need to be better at our work; it too would potentially push us to be better consultants as we have the skillsets at hand.
When I started my job, I had zero working experience; but I had the firsthand experience of being involved in extra-curricular activities especially in my senior year in college where I was part of the student council body. This led me to understand better how to position myself in terms of how I communicated with others and carry out my tasks. In a way, this propelled me to then adapt myself to different situations as I had the opportunity to learn, unlearn and relearn.
Of course, the path to work is different for each individual. Different industries have different requirements. We, as the young ones, need to find a way to balance and juggle a lot of things–our lack of experience, our expectation, our thirst to create and our desire to change. When you have a passion and want to devote yourself to it, it would be an exhilarating experience. And with that, your fulfilment towards your work will be able to teach you beneficial lessons in return.