Graduate Series - 6 months job mark

After graduating from my master’s and struggling to get a job in the field of my choice, you will hear me say that a lot (I will try to stop), I decided to go to a head hunter and ask them to find me a job near my house, that will allow me to pay my bills and save up while I search for a job in my field of choice. Sadly, the job is working on the phone as a Consumer Experience Support for medical diagnostic tools. Today marks my six months at this job, and I have cried more than ten times, written journal diaries about God forsaken me and opening other doors because I fail to understand how my master’s degree gets me a consumer experience job?

While putting the self-pitty aside, I am continuously meditating on finding ways to learn transferable skills that will help me land my dream job. Here is what I learned so far working in a private company straight out of my masters:

  1. It’s not personal, it’s strictly business. One of my co-workers is by far the most annoying, weird, and sad person that I have ever met. You may think that I am being rude or a hater, but trust me, I have learned from stories shared by others, that every workplace has a ‘cruel-devil’, at my current her name is ‘Amanda’ (not her real name). I accidently spazzed on her because she was so condescending, that I couldn’t take it anymore. I went to the washroom, cried out of shame that I allowed myself to be rude to her, I apologized afterwards. This taught me the art of confrontation, and resolving character differences, not personal, in the professional world. I simply told her: ‘when you do this, it makes me feel this way...I don’t mean to do hurt you, we are a team’. It allowed me to learn to differentiate personal differences from professional ones. It is not that serious, plain and simple.
  2. Give yourself target growth goals. My colleague who is very driven said to me ‘I read Lean In, and Sheryl said to set 18 months career goals at a job’. So, I have been paying close attention to the repeated mistakes that I make at my daily job tasks, learn from them, and seeking feedback from my colleagues on how I can improve. For me, by the 8-12 months mark, I would like to pretty much master the current computer IT system used at my job, and I would like to master it by being able to do the following (I made a list of 3 concrete tasks).
  3. Manage your energy. At first when I started this job, I could really care less about it. Then, after countless amounts of job rejections elsewhere, I decided to shift my attitude and start caring. When I started caring, my perfectionist side came out. I always thought of myself as a Type B (hippie and relaxed), but it turns out the ‘cracy-cray’ type-A lives within me. I started caring too much about not ever making a mistake, never upsetting my boss, and getting headaches whenever my email inbox was over 20 emails. As we speak, there are 110 emails that are unanswered. I quickly learned, to manage my energy and allocate it towards (1) prioritizing what needs to be done first, (2) not procrastinating on matters or request that can be done quickly, but escalate when left in the back burner, (3) Every error has a solution, especially at an entry-level job.
  4. Find every possible solution, before asking for help. I am firm believer that asking for help is never a bad thing, and expressing your confusion or lack of understanding for a given task, is always a good thing. Some colleagues seem annoyed when I ask questions, they have probably been working for this company for decades so some tasks are second nature to them. However, at first, I would ask for help for every little thing, realizing that I wasn’t even attempting to solve the issue first, hence why I overlooked the fact that the answer was right in front of me. When I started to connect the dots in handling certain repetitive tasks, and noticed that my colleagues would come to me and ask for help, that is when I realized that I actually know more than I give myself credit for. That is also when I realized that, rather than emailing my boss to ask for every little details or questions on doing something, I had to work backwards in identifying every possible solution to the problem and going up to her with the attitude of ‘how can I come to you with a problem with a proposed solution and make your life easier’.
  5. No company or boss wants to train you. A sad truth to learn as a young graduate. When my colleague first told me this, it clicked right away. In all reality, every company wants to hire someone who is ready to dive in and get the job done with minimal training needed at the start. If you think of ‘time as money’, you would realize that, it is important for you to go after the solution, develop skills in between, that will enable you to require as little amount of training as possible when hired.

Months 6 mark, learning curve.

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