Career lessons my first job taught me.

My first job was with one of the most known Unicorn start up in the country. I remember how I always dreamt of being a part of that company because of it’s culture, people and what not. Of course, I had all the reasons to be happy and celebrate but wait, as soon as the college got over, the real life started.The sudden change was insomuch that it took me pretty long to accept the situation.

A person who never woke up early and gazed netflix all night was turned into a lark within the first week. I remember travelling 3 hours a day, writing those early morning reports, answering those team leads, trying hard to fit into the system, going through mocks and trainings totally whacked me out.

I remember the first one week was a cribbing session for me. Life was suddenly made uneasy and stressful. Like anyone else, I disliked it too but now when I look back to what exactly did I learn, there’s so much. The learning and the experience computes to so much that it took me longer to figure out the predicament.

Mentioning few of my learning from my first job:

  • Uncomfortable is good- Startup life is never dull. During my tenure, I shuffled between 4 regional offices, 3 different products and let’s not even talk about my team leads getting changed every now and then. I remember how it was all getting nerve racking at first. I remember one of the national team challenges for which I worked day and night just to prove myself. End of the week, I won it, not just once but for 3 consecutive months and that’s exactly when I realised how it’s very easy to underestimate yourself. If I would have chosen the comfortable life by deciding to take part just for heck of it, life would have been typical but the real change and fun came after I took up the challenge and decided to push myself beyond the boundaries.Till the time you don’t try, you’d never know what you can really achieve.
  • No work is ever Small– Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo started of as a receptionist in her dorm, Reed Hasting, CEO of Netflix, he worked a door-to-door salesman, selling vacuum cleaners and a lot of other famous people who started really small. Does anyone become a CEO or a leader just like that? It all takes time and the right attitude to learn. Accomplishment in such small tasks only gives you the courage to take up bigger projects.
  • Initiating Conversation; A good sign– Yes, you must start the conversation with the team and other people of the organisation unless you wish to sit alone in one corner of the room. If you really want to be friends with your colleague, make a good impression on your boss and make your work life a better place then you must communicate because speaking is as important as listening. The more you network, the easier it would be to fit within the system.
  • Never give up– There would be a lot of situations when you’d consider quitting because apparently you aren’t doing so well but before you conclude that, it’s better to recall why the company hired you? They definitely saw something in you which perhaps, they didn’t see the other 873626+ (a bit of an exaggeration there)candidates who appeared for this position. It’s always better to look for a solution to your problem than to conclude and accept your failures. “Never give up as great things take me”– A very conventional saying we’ve been hearing since our childhood holds true in this situations and our life, in general.
  • Feedback is good– Everyone within the organisation comes from a different background hence, the difference in their choices and opinions. Some would make faces at your work whereas, someone would welcome your ideas with the smile. I can still recall the time when I felt timid to speak freely in front of those I thought would spurn me out. One day, I tagged team with my senior who would ask me the same question post each meeting “What do you think worked and what didn’t?” I used to answer the question by giving 3 points of each. He would agree to most of them and make necessary changes during the next meeting. Soon enough, the feedback did wonders and that’s exactly when I realised how the saying- feedback can either make you bitter or better made so much sense.

Our first job is the beginning of our career, it’s not something we’ll be stuck in forever. During our first job, we learn so much about decision making, accountability and everything else that counts to make us a better professional. I believe persistence along with a positive attitude can really help us stay focused during the onerous time.

What did you learn during your first job? 🙂

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Is it okay to have no opinion at times?

“How can you not have an opinion?”

“You probably aren’t so sharp.”

“ Having no say prompts low confidence.”

I am sure you hear a lot of other things too when you decide to not interrupt in between a conversation.

Recently, I promised myself to become a good listener and being a human, speak about only those topics where I can really discern as I cannot know the whole nine yards. I decided to listen, absorb more and notice the behavior of the ones around me.

I do understand how having no opinion works well when you’re being intellectually idle and indecisive and even when we wish to not think seriously about a certain matter. But can an individual be an omniscient?

After my fact- finding, I found a perceptible behaviour in almost every second individual. Based on my analysis, I figured the following:

Half knowledge is dangerous– Often people start talking about subjects which they are not aware of which by the way, is perfectly fine. Improvising may turn right but sadly, most times it does not. I see people squalling randomly without adding any quality contribution to the conversation . What happens next? People end up not listening to you. (It’s almost like me giving my opinion about sports)

Tag of being; Win-it-all- Yes, it’s more of a competition here. People love to act like they have knowledge about each sphere. The whole idea of the discussion is usually to reveal that I know more facts than to focus on exchanging ideas and viewpoints. The one who speaks more, gets the tag.

Directly related to Ego– Another perceptible behaviour is associated with being stubborn and egoistic. If a person finds out he’s wrong he’d still continue with wrong facts just to save himself from the embarrassment. Concluded this after a conversation with a friend who supported no night outs for women. After giving out valid replies, the person still didn’t agree just because acceptance is too gawky, I believe.

Jack of all but master of none- My community groups are filled by instruction and advices from people. Arbitrary Topics along with futile opinions just to flaunt the knowledge of each sphere. 

Don’t you think it would make more sense if a successful entrepreneur shared tips to grow a business rather than a politician or a sportsman? Anyone can come up and say you sing bad, but only a genuine musician can tell you what notes you got wrong.

I am definitely not being a whiner here but I just feel that it’s okay to not say anything when there’s limited understanding of the event and a desire to signal to the peers that they ostensibly care about the issue at hand.

The lord has blessed us all with a gift of talking. We must use it to express our opinions and feeling but I believe overusing it can lead to sad results.

I feel it’s normal to just listen and not give opinion sometimes , no one comes out as a wanker anyway. What do you think?