Landing Your First Job and What to Expect
As a fresh graduate, you’re probably already looking to make a name for yourself in the world of adults. You have strong expectations not just for your job, but for yourself. Watching TV and movies has given you a rather heightened perspective on what a workplace is like.
Unfortunately, real work isn’t like how it looks on the screen. While optimism is healthy and shouldn’t be avoided, a dose of practical thinking will help you keep that optimism going.
For remote workers, the loss of the typical office environment means there are different expectations to overcome. That being said, you still have a few worries you share with your office counterparts. Let’s talk about a few of those in this article.
1. Promotions And Raises Are Not Guaranteed
A lot of people think their hard work can take them to new heights quickly. In fact, for a few weeks, you might be doing really well. This all-in approach often leads to disappointment when you start to feel like you’re underappreciated. Regardless of your output, even if amazing, you are still a new hire.
There are things you still have not encountered, and you may have to face the reality that your current best is only passable compared to the veterans in your job. Don’t take that as an insult, but as a way to motivate yourself to be better.
Promotions will come if you actively campaign for it, or it might not. Regardless, good work is good work and that will come in useful for adding to your accomplishments, and that is an evergreen benefit.
2. Not Everybody Will Like You
It’s not impossible for everyone to like you. However, it’s more likely you’ll have to settle for some people who like you, and the rest being simply indifferent. In unfortunate circumstances, you might have to deal with someone who just doesn’t like you and lets you know it.
Don’t feel too defeated. In a professional space, especially in high-volume work environments, stress can lead people to do some nasty things. They might regret their harshness with you afterwards.
Be friendly, but not excessively so. For those working remotely, building connections with your co-workers might be difficult due to the distance. In today’s digital world, however, there’s no reason to not stay in contact with them through social media, if they are comfortable with it.
Even if you don’t have to befriend everyone, you can try being on good terms with most of them. In most cases, simple tolerance is much better than what some workplaces get.
3. Not Everything You Learn in School Will Be Useful
Sometimes it might, of course. Knowledge is knowledge, and when relevant, it is very beneficial to have. However, don’t be surprised if most of what you’ve learned won’t actually come up that often. In fact, one could be harsh and say a lot of what you learn in school will amount to useless trivia.
For example, as a remote worker, you may find yourself being guided through the best security practices while working from home. These are not things you will likely encounter in a non-IT course, but it’s still a learning opportunity.
Schools are meant to prepare you for as many things as you can. Not everything will stick, so just be thankful for the lessons that help, and make room for the new ones you will learn in your workplace, such as the example given above.
4. Work Won’t Always Be Engaging and Fulfilling
The novelty of being new to a workplace is magical. Seeing cubicles with people working, laughing in the canteen, your first big salary, and the general excitement of being an adult. With time, that will fade and anxiety will start to set in.
This is unavoidable and some people don’t take this well. For those in an office environment, they may start seeing their cubicles as a cage, both mentally and physically. That kind of thinking is shared by many in the corporate world, so take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. For those working remotely, the isolation may lead to a deep rut of boredom, where home and work start blending seamlessly together into a lonely blob of gray.
In such bleak times, take a break. Figure out the different types of leaves you are entitled to, and take a well-deserved break. Time away from work may give your mind the space to think of a solution. Time and rest are the ultimate cures for stress.
5. Your Attitude Matters
A lot of people may believe that their value as a worker is all they need in work, especially those who have trouble socializing. Some people view work as separate from things such as friendships and fun and put all of their efforts into their output. Certainly, this may work for some workplaces that don’t mind that sort of thinking.
However, most workplaces value teamwork and socializing within the workplace. Your character is what keeps you sticking in people’s minds. If all you do is perform tasks, you may as well be one of the automated computers in some people’s eyes.
This deeply affects your chances of making connections in the workplace, and a person not well-liked may be passed over for promotion. That danger goes double when working remotely, as people don’t even have a face to attach to your work. Your attitude about work matters just as much as your work itself.
Strike a balance between the two and remain present in people’s minds. Familiarity is the first step to improving your standing in the workplace.
6. Bosses Won’t Always Be Nice
If you are lucky, and a lot of people are, your first boss will be kind and understanding. However, the sad truth is that a lot of people draw the short stick instead. Some bosses only care about results and don’t take time to look out for your mental and physical health.
In worse cases, they may even be verbally abusive regardless of how much effort and time you put into a task or project. If the result isn’t to their liking, they may criticize you. Whether it’s valid or not, it will sting, especially for a newbie to the workforce.
For remote workers, they may have the rude realization that some bosses think remote work means you’re always available because you are technically “at your workplace”. You might even find yourself having to work outside of shift hours. That may put a hamper on your expectation of working remotely and traveling the world.
As much as possible, don’t dwell on such things.
Instead, think of where you might have gone wrong and get second opinions from your co-workers about the boss. You never know, maybe you’re overreacting, or your boss is just having a bad day. Regardless, a job is a job, and your boss is only human. Do your best to bring the best out of your boss. If that doesn’t work, just move on.
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