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I officially started my “adulty” career in September of last year. It involved me moving to a new city and starting over. I was nervous, eager to make a good impression and start my new life. I have been working for 6 months now and I wanted to share some of my lessons on surviving the start of your career!
Working crazy hours doesn’t necessarily make you look good
I understand that back in the day, it was common to not leave the office until your boss left – but guys it’s the 21st century!! If you have to stay late to prove to your boss you are working hard, you are in wrong company! Staying late in general doesn’t necessarily make you look good – doesn’t it not kind of mean you have poor time management during the day? Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand there are evenings you may need to stay a little longer to finish something off, meet a deadline etc but make sure you are staying late for the right reasons! Quality time over quantity! And of course work life balance is important, but more on that later.
Look beyond your department for new friends
I would definitely encourage you not to stick to the people in your team for making new friends, try to branch out as much as you can. It can be simple as striking up a conversation at the coffee machine or asking some in a different department out for lunch. If your company has different initiatives around social and sports clubs – get involved! Nowadays people tend to change role more frequently so it is important to keep your friends at work flexible.
Make your goals known
At the start of your career it’s hard to know your place in your team or company, not wanting to step on anyone’s toes or be an annoying pest. But after a couple of months of settling in, make sure your boss knows your personal goals and what you want out of your new role. Your boss is human and more often than not they will want to help you as much as they can! Having great mentors is an important part of the start of your career, so don’t be afraid to get as much help as you can
Don’t get involved with office gossip
Office gossip. The thing that every employee can relate to and a thing that seems to be in every office to some extent. I know it’s tempting, a way to bond with new colleagues at the start of your career – I so get it. However, office walls have more ears than you think, you never know when it could come back and bite you. Avoid the temptation and work on being known as trustworthy and someone who is focusing on more important things.
Prioritise work life balance
Following on from point 1, life-work balance is so important especially because most people spend most of their time at work so make sure the time out of work is quality time! After a long day at work it is easy to want to sit down on the sofa have a couple of hours to yourself then bed. Wake up. Work. Sofa. Repeat. Of course this is needed a couple of nights but I have always believed it is important to experience new things and push yourself to do different activities even if it takes you to power through when you are feeling too tired. I promised I would do this when I first moved to Edinburgh to avoid falling into a routine that I didn’t enjoy. I make time for friends after work, make time for myself, play sports and socialise! Plan trips, make use of your weekends and make sure you are keeping your work life balance in check.
I am still early on in my career but I am guessing, starting a new job at any age can be daunting! But I think I will be able to apply these lessons throughout my career. Hope you found this piece useful and as always, thanks for reading 😊