I remember feeling lost in my first job after college. Surrounded by so many experienced colleagues and information I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to for information. I felt so disconnected. I was shy of asking questions because I didn’t want to look like dumb newbie.
Here are some important points to remember to fight off your fear and survive in this corporate jungle.
1. Don’t “fake it until you make it.” As humans we have this tendency naturally to fake what we can’t make. Some of the new workers may pretend to know it all by not asking questions, and just nodding their heads even if they don’t understand it. Thinking they will just google it. This is not good for any employee especially for new one. No one expects you to know everything at your first job. And it is perfectly fine to accept the reality that you don’t know everything. That will help you learn it. But if you feel shy of asking questions then you learn from your manager’s experience. You will end up doing it either wrong or not up to his/her expectations.
2. Never eat lunch alone. You are at your first job. It is a start of your career. You are like a sponge, ready to absorb new information and learn from your coworkers. Last thing you should do is to stay secluded. Connect with your colleagues whether they are directly related to your job or not. From office boy to CEO they all have many things to teach you about this workplace. And one of the best way is to have food with them. Those small talks over the lunch can teach you a lot. You can ask questions, discuss issues and build the bond with your coworkers. Be friendly but avoids groupings and don’t ever take part in gossiping and office politics.
3. Set your limits. Take this example. You have battery which can lit one light bulb for 100 hours, or 100 light bulbs for 1 hour. What would you prefer? Avoid burning yourself out by creating balance in your professional life right from the start. Yea you are all ambitious, want to climb the corporate ladder as fast as you can but don’t forget that Rome was not build in a day. So bring the balance in your work and personal life. Take small breaks, rejuvenate and restart. I am not telling you to not work hard but don’t do it to an extent that you are worn out in 10 years instead of 30. Do give the due importance to your work but not at the expense of your health and family. Trust me, you will thank me one for this advice.
4. Don’t be arrogant. Great leaders combine humility and fierce resolve to get the support of their coworkers. And it this very support which helps them climb the corporate ladder and become great leaders. Bring an attitude of serving your coworkers and customers. Help them solve their problems at work, and always think of creative new ways to bring the best service to your customers. And do it patiently. It is this attitude which helps you get the wide support of your colleagues and customers. People who think it is not their job to walk an extra mile to help a coworker or go beyond the call of duty for your customer, do not too far in their professional life.
5. Discipline. Dedication with discipline is the only remedy for success. Respect others’ time and they will respect you. When you don’t show up at work on time and you are always late for the meeting, it shows great disrespect to others and your job. It doesn’t matter if you decided to stay awake whole night to finish the presentation; you must show up on time. You cannot be successful without bringing discipline in your life. I have come across many CEOs from different industries and nationalities. I observed one thing was common in all of them. Even at the age of 50 they had maintained the discipline and had the same dedication towards their work. Take an example of an army. If they don’t fight the enemy with discipline and dedication, they will never win the war.
I can go on with the advice but I believe these are the most important ones to learn as early as possible in your career. We are humans and prone to make mistakes. But remember; smart people learn from their mistakes but wise people learn from others’ mistakes.