I made SO many mistakes in my first job.
I’ll admit it.
I was young, pig-headed and thought no-one could stop me.
The world was my oyster and I was going to smash it open whatever way I could, regardless of the consequences.
But here’s the thing.
When you are making a beeline for your goals and treading on anyone who gets in the way, all your doing is being an ass.
And no-one wants to work with and an ass.
What I failed to realise, is that there is enough room for everyone. For you to achieve whatever goal you desire, you don’t have to smash people out of the way in order to get it.
But that’s how I thought the corporate world worked.
Obviously, I’d watched Wall Street one too many times.
So today, I’m going to share with you the 6 mistakes I made in my first job. Because after all, we are all human, and human nature is about learning, falling down and dusting off your Jimmy Choos to try again.
MISTAKE 1: WORKING WITHOUT A BREAK
Long periods of concentrated focus are draining. It is draining on your energy levels, your concentration drops and you start to feel fatigued from sitting in the same spot for so long.
This is one of the hardest mistakes I learnt in my first job.
… if I just reply to this email
… if I just return so and so’s call
… if I just answer this one email
then I deserve a break.
I never gave myself permission to stop. I would plough through the day and wonder why I was famished and cranky at the end of the day.
MISTAKE 2: WAITING FOR OPPORTUNITIES
In my first job as a marketing assistant, I was the perfect worker bee.
I was quiet, I did my job and what was expected of me day in and day out. I didn’t get a pay rise and I did the same tasks over and over again for four years!
* face palms *
Surely someone would notice my good work and pay me more?
It wasn’t until I put my case forward for a promotion, backed it up with data and asked for a promotion that anyone took notice.
Needless to say, I got the promotion and within six months time, another company offered me an even better role and even better pay.
MISTAKE 3: BEING A PASSIVE PARTICIPANT
Passive participation is an easy one all of us fall into.
I would attend a meeting, get bored, become uninterested in the topics and switch off. We all do it and it was a major mistake I made in my first job.
The whole purpose of a meeting is to meet people and take part in the conversation. Just because you attend a meeting doesn’t mean you are part of it by sitting back and passively listening.
MISTAKE 4: SPENDING ALL YOUR PAY CHEQUE
I remember the day I goy my first pay cheque. It was mega exciting. So what did I do?
Spent every cent.
… in under 20 minutes.
What I failed to understand then was the power of compound interest. Just saving a little bit each month, will have you set up will a nice fat savings account when you hit your thirties.
Life can throw you unexpected financial burdens your way. When you have a fat and juicy savings account, you are prepared for unexpected expenses.
MISTAKE 5: UNDERESTIMATING YOUR SKILLS
When I was just starting my career, it was hard to be objective about what I was good at.
I’d often think that because I was young, I didn’t have the skills that someone a few years older had.
Oh, boy was I wrong.
I had a very strong understanding of how social media works, I grew up with it. Today, social media is one of the most sought after skill set to have especially in a role like a Community Manager.
MISTAKE 6: ALWAYS BEING BUSY
When I‘m in full throttle mode for too long, I burn out.
Friday evening comes and I’m out the door racing for my couch to binge watch Sex And The City.
But you see, some of my best ideas for campaigns have hit me when I’m relaxed and not thinking about work. This happens all the time and some of my best ideas come when I’m out on a Sunday for a run.
As soon as I stopped thinking about the problem, the solution often comes to me. Sometimes the best solution to a problem is just to move on and do something different.
So tell me, are you guilty of any of these mistakes I made in my first job? Let me know below in the comments.