To Those Of You Starting Your First Job,

Breathe.

The first time you start a full-time job or enter the corporate world, there is a good chance that you will feel like an idiot. You will think that everyone except you knows exactly what is going on.

Give it time. You will eventually realize that nobody knows too much anyway.

Play along and if you still think you are lost, use words like “Strategy”, “Learning curve”, and “Performance”, A LOT!.

You need to get used to it.

Imagine walking up to your professor and saying “In order to streamline ourselves with the vision of the college, I suggest you give me more exciting assignments that help develop my learning curve and enhance performance”.

Yeah, right.

Remember to use words  like “Opportunities” “Team” “Values” and “Feedback” if you want to get out of trouble.

You will keep hearing about how your company values “young people”. Being a twenty something old in the corporate world is kind of hot because they love you, pamper you and believe in your potential.

This is mostly a great thing except when they get into the “You are twenty and you are supposed to conquer the world” mode.

It is hard to explain to older people that you are just a young person and not an octopus on weed.

Respect experience and remember that people who have been around longer than you have can teach you a lot of things.

Generation gap is very real which is why when someone asks you where they can find “The Drop-box”, rolling your eyes is not a good idea.

Stay humble and try not to complain too much. Respect your job, your pay-checks and all the perks it brings along.

You will meet lots of people who think that they are over-qualified to be doing the job they currently do, but that is probably because they are angrier at the situation than at the job itself.

There will be days when you feel that the espresso machine at work should have vodka instead of coffee,but it is on those days that you should remind yourself to stay patient.

Nobody will give you their biggest clients or a million dollar deal on the first day of your work.Or the first month.Or the first year.

If you know otherwise,call me.

And if you still think that you are only making photocopies, there is always a choice.

The greatest irony of work-life is that nobody will be there to watch you work hard and leave late. Leaving early from work on the other hand is the high-school equivalent of dating your best friend’s boyfriend. If they find out, you are bound to get dirty stares.

I like my job, but I cannot suppress the reflex need to stick my tongue out at people who always claim to work late and look down on those who don’t clock long hours.

It is mostly because harsh reality is that, no matter how good you are, it takes less than two weeks to replace you at work. On the other hand, you are irreplaceable as a son, a daughter, a best friend or a girlfriend. Never let yourself lose sight of this simple truth.

I could tell you that dating at work is not the greatest idea, but trust me when I tell you that all it takes is a handsome boy with a charming smile to make financial statements read like a Jane Austen novel and to make my statement completely irrelevant.

Don’t ask me how I know.

“Never date at work” is a cliche that you will hear a lot.

Good advice for life should read “No footsies during conferences” and as much as I believe in the healing powers of healthy flirting, DO NOT flirt in front of your boss.

Or with your boss, for that matter.

Stepping into the corporate world or starting your first job is scary but it is also one of those things that will shape your future to a great extent.

The only real advice I can give you when it comes to being prepared for the corporate world is that core competency has nothing to do with your abs and it is not okay to giggle when someone says “touch-base”.

Apart from that, the rest is for you to figure out!




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