So, I have now been in the workforce for 6 months! Since starting my job, it has been a whirlwind of excitement and growth and learning that I am excited to see where I grow since starting my job. I really love the company that I work for and hope to stay there and expand my career there, too. While I am in the data analytics subject area in my day to day job, I want to share lessons that I have learned that will help people in ANY subject area or industry in Entry-Level roles and/or simply starting out in the workforce within their day to day life – you can also follow me on Instagram (@_thepinkchickadee) to see my daily work outfits.
- Your coworkers will come from all walks of life and that’s an AMAZING thing – The workforce is MUCH different from college life. You are working with people of ALL ages and ALL different backgrounds. As someone who has always had a passion for learning about others and their lives and backgrounds, I find this to be such a great thing and a lifelong skill – learning from others’ experiences and growing from it all. The MORE we learn about others and their experiences that aren’t our own, the more we grow as people from what we learn. Trust me, it’s a beautiful thing and you’ll love that aspect of the workforce as time goes on!
- You will learn valuable skills that you will use in many different ways – Whether you realize it or not, your job will teach you valuable skills that you will apply in many different ways, whether it be in your career now, down the road, or other aspects of your life. For example, I have ALWAYS been afraid to ask for help, as I have continuously seen myself as someone who wants to do it all on her own. BUT, being in the workforce has made me realize that in life, it DOES take a tribe. Your coworkers will want to help you 9 times out of 10 and are happy to, even when the question may feel “stupid” or “dumb” to you. The same concept goes for planning a dinner party for 10 of your friends and family on your own where everyone brings a dish to share. No one should do it on their own. Whatever the skills may be for you, you will learn some valuable skills from your job, both in your industry and area of expertise and simply life skills. Be thankful for that, too.
- Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to someone new – Being in the workforce is not just about what you know but who you know. When starting a brand-new job and entering into the workforce, there are going to be a LOT of new faces. I have always made an effort to introduce myself to someone new within my company or industry, no matter how nervous I may feel about it. While it is daunting at first, 9 times out of 10, people are EXCITED to meet you too. People are typically touched to be able to meet someone new and know that you took the time to introduce yourself to them and that you want to know them too. It may be nerve-wracking and overwhelming at first, but it WILL be worth it in the long run. And, perhaps, you may make a new friend or two too!
- Take time outside of work to learn your role – As an entry-level employee, I find it REALLY valuable to take the time to LEARN your role and the ropes of my role and simply being in the workforce. Simply putting it, along with doing your job and getting the job done (because, yes, people aka your coworkers and boss ARE relying on you to get the job done), it’s also your job to LEARN while on the job. Taking the time to simply learn new things while on the job WILL take much effort on your part – it may mean taking some time outside of your job to learn it all too. Jobs are ALL about learning and growing while getting paid to do so, unlike college!
- Set some goals but be REALISTIC – Having goals professionally is SO important. But, it is also important to ensure that your goals are concise and realistic. That being said, if you have 10 professional goals, that may be exciting and enthralling, but it also may not be realistic to achieve them all within 6 months or even a year. And, perhaps, you may be able to combine 1-2 of your goals into one big goal. Goals are an excellent way to aim for something exciting and bigger within your professional role and life. Goals will help you to be able to discover your passions and work towards something that will lead to a stronger and healthier professional life for yourself in the long run. Not only will you be able to work professionally through setting goals, but also personally. Though, through it all, it’s important to remember that goals can and will change over time and that is OKAY. Life may take its toll and your perceptions of your initial goals may change. Be sure to be flexible and adapt through the goal getter process!
- Above all else, remember to make time for YOU! – While the hustle is the name of the game of the workforce, it is also just as important to take some time away from the hustle for yourself. Be sure to take breaks – maybe go for a walk, go to the gym, go to the grocery store, get coffee with friends, or even take a nap. Perhaps, you can EVEN focus on your own passions outside of work, whether that be a side hustle, your pet(s), cooking, outdoor activities, or something else. If we work too much, then we loose ourselves from within. We NEED to take time for ourselves and even take days off for ourselves, simply on a trip, staycation, or just to nap and watch TV. Above all else, it is OKAY to take breaks, even when work may feel overwhelming. Remember that.
The workforce may define our lives on a daily basis, BUT we must take time to personally succeed and grow, too. Above all else, being in the workforce will shape you into the person that you are meant to become. Trust the process of it all.
XOXO – Katie <3