The fast-paced, ruthless and profit-driven corporate world tends to upset the optimistic 20-something clocking into the work force for the first time, hungry for success but unaware of how to achieve it. We unwittingly mistake the successful job application as our first step upon the rung of the career ladder, only to learn that our next few moves are not quite in the expected upward direction.
Two turbulent years of being immersed in the corporate world have taught me 10 things and I try to remind myself of the following:
- As a graduate start, you will be wrong pretty much most of the time. This is in part due to lack of experience. Occasionally the ideas that young people bring to the table will not be heard due to the establishment’s reluctance to change. Best thing to do is soak it in and absorb as much information as possible in order to ensure your ideas come from a foundation of knowledge and ability. In doing so, you are better placed to defend your actions with confidence and ensure that they are heard.
- There are no excuses, so don’t waste time trying to offer one. “Alarm didn’t go off in time, I didn’t understand the project briefing and the client gave me incorrect information …” No matter who was at fault, you will unfortunately face the consequences and be required to correct it in your own time.
- You will receive feedback and review points that could last a lifetime. Appraisals are a fantastic concept, although often poorly executed when busy people do not have time to remember the encouraging comments. Remember that the negative feedback is constructive and enhances your overall development and, no matter what, you cannot take it personally. Do not confuse your personal identity with your professional one. When you leave the office that evening, follow Queen Elsa’s advice and let it go.
- Time out is essential. Learn what helps you relax and ensure you reward yourself with it little and often.
- You work alongside industry experts, which may be intimidating at first, but who better to explain technical matters to you than them? The years of experience and knowledge that they share with you is invaluable.
- There are tough days. As with every aspect of life, there will be days when you give it your all, see a project to its completion and feel stressed, drained and ready to call it a day only to find a re-work is requested and your finest work has been torn apart. Not all days will be like this.
- Clients trust your judgement. It is truly encouraging when a client asks your opinion or expresses a desire to “go with whatever you think is best.”
- It’s not for everyone.
- Firms understand the need to invest in their people, therefore you receive ample opportunity to travel, enjoy lavish social events (with little expense spared) and benefit from unique training focused on developing you professionally but also shape your personal development along the way.
- Remind yourself that you were hired by a reputable organisation therefore you have earned your right to be there. Keep your emotions in check, throw 1000% into your assignments and, as a wise man once told me, it’s not prison.
Author: Rebecca McKinty
Author Bio: 20-something trainee tax advisor from a tiny city called Belfast with a fondness for gin, coffee and girl power. Blogging on anything from food and films to people and politics with the underlying aim of inspiring and empowering women from all walks of life.
Link to social media or website: https://www.instagram.com/girlscantthrow/